A woman died after a surgeon operating to remove a tumour from her adrenal gland mistakenly clipped the wrong blood vessels, cutting off the flow of blood to her gut and liver, an inquest heard.
The hearing at Eastbourne Town Hall was told that 35-year-old financial assistant Nicole Haynes had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from one of her breasts in 2011.
The following year another mass was detected in her adrenal glands, sparking fears it could be a secondary tumour related to the cancer.
‘A surgical error’
East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze found that Mrs Haynes died as the result of a “surgical accident” and said the single feature that stood out was that “a surgical error” had been made which the surgeon had “readily admitted”.
The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said it had carried out two investigations at the hospital since Mrs Haynes’ death to prevent anything like this happening again.
The inquest heard that what should have been routine keyhole surgery to remove it was carried out at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) in March 2012.
Steve Garnett, the urological surgeon who operated on Mrs Haynes, of Pevensey Bay near Eastbourne, told the coroner he thought the operation had gone well and that he had identified the blood vessels which required clipping.
‘Misidentified’ the blood vessels
But he said following Mrs Haynes’ death it was discovered that he’d “misidentified” the blood vessels and clipped the wrong ones.
The hearing was told Mrs Haynes was taken to the Conquest Hospital at St Leonards on Sea for a scan as the equipment at the EDGH was broken.
She was then returned to Eastbourne before being transferred to King’s College Hospital in London, where she underwent an operation the following morning.
Mr Garnett told the inquest there had been no visible signs that the wrong blood vessels had been clipped.
He said research he’d done after Mrs Haynes’ death suggested the position of cameras inside her body may have caused him to become disorientated although he hadn’t realised that was the case.
Source: Eastbourne Herald
Date Published: November 28, 2014
Author: David Brown