AN INDEPENDENT investigation at the Conquest hospital following the death of a pensioner admitted for a minor procedure last year concluded lessons have been learned.
The findings of the Serious Incident report were read out at the inquest of Margaret Hammond, 77, of Peartree Lane, Bexhill.
Mrs Hammond was admitted to the Conquest on June 6, 2013 for a procedure to fit a stent. Complications arose after doctors discovered a kidney artery had been punctured.
Consultant radiologist Dr J Giles told the inquest that the procedure is normally ‘straightforward’, taking 30-40 minutes under local anaesthetic, but added that there are risks involved. When a stent is fitted a balloon is inflated to clear any blockage within the artery - a dye is used in the procedure. Dr Giles said Mrs Hammond was in ‘severe pain’ during her procedure and he observed the dye spreading outside the heart. He said: “So there was a hole somewhere; the artery was split a little bit.”
Mrs Hammond subsequently suffered a stroke and died a few days later.
Consultant surgeon Andrew Sandison said Mrs Hammond’s medical history suggested that even without the complications of the perforation it was not a surprise that she suffered a stroke. Sue Carter, clinical services manager for cardiology at the Conquest said there was nothing to indicate that something serious had gone wrong but lessons had been learned and an updated action plan has been put in place. Coroner Alan Craze concluded the death as being due to rare but recognised complication of invasive surgery.