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Case Study

Coroner identifies that death was contributed to in part by management of medical care

Fieldfisher Solicitors represented Mr Hassan's wife, Joanne Hassan, in the Inquest into Mr Hassan's death which was concluded on 8 January 2014. The Coroner for the Northern District of Greater London, Mr Andrew Walker, recorded a narrative verdict.

Mr Hassan, who was 53 years old at the time of his death, was married with three children. He had suffered from bladder cancer and was under the care of Chase Farm Hospital managed by Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust. He was admitted to Chase Farm Hospital on 29 July 2012 and was thought to have bladder related problems.   

On 6 August 2012 he underwent percutaneous nephrostomy which is a procedure where stents are inserted into the kidneys through the skin to drain them. The procedure was carried out by a radiologist.  That morning the doctor requested that Mr Hassan be given fresh frozen plasma which is given to patients at a risk of bleeding. This was not given before the procedure. Mrs Hassan's evidence is that they had not been informed that the procedure would be taking place prior to Mr Hassan being taken down to the radiology department's interventional room. Mr Hassan once in the room expressed surprise that he was about to have medical procedure and this was recorded in his notes. His treating doctor had to be called to advise him about the procedure before his consent was obtained. Mrs Hassan was not aware that this was going on in the room and was waiting outside the room thinking her husband was having a type of x-ray rather than any medical procedure. The left nephrostomy was done and Mr Hassan was then taken outside to wait for fresh frozen plasma to be given before being taken back into the radiology interventional room for the insertion of the right nephrostomy. The family have concerns about the monitoring Mr Hassan received during this time. Shortly after being taken back into the interventional room he collapsed and died.

The Coroner, having heard expert evidence, recorded the immediate cause of death as haemorrhage following the nephrostomy procedure. The Coroner identified in the narrative verdict that Mr Hassan's death was contributed to, in part, by issues relating to the management of the anticoagulant medication, Clexane, before the procedure started which would otherwise have reduced the risk of bleeding significantly and also in not delaying the procedure to allow sufficient time for Clexane to leave Mr Hassan's system.

Fieldfisher Commented:

"Mr Hassan's death came as a complete shock to his wife and children. Mrs Hassan is relieved that a thorough Inquest took place and that the Coroner has identified that Mr Hassan's death was contributed to in part by aspects of the medical management. She had concerns from the outset about the care her husband received."

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