Pensioner died in hospital after surgical procedure error

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AN 81-year-old man died in Milton Keynes Hospital, after suffering peritinitis caused by a feeding tube being wrongly inserted an inquest heard today.

James Edward William Richards, who lived at Waterhall Care Centre, Bletchley, was taken to hospital on February 6 this year after experiencing problems swallowing food.

Treatment at the hospital included having an endoscopy to help insert a feeding tube. The procedure was thought to have gone ahead with no complications and he was discharged on February 8, the court was told.

On February 12 Mr Richards was rushed back into hospital after suffering from acute septic shock. A chest X-ray revealed the small intestine had been perforated when the feeding tube had been inserted and up to one litre of fluid had leaked into his system causing the peritinitis.

In summing up coroner Tom Osbourne said the perforation, not a recognised complication after such a procedure, had seemingly been missed.

He said: “The hospital now needs to reflect on this and ask questions of how this has happened.”