Elderly patient died in hospital after rare operation complication

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AN ELDERLY man died at Eastbourne DGH after a rare operation complication.

Stanley Booth, 81, was admitted to the local hospital when he suffered a stroke and collapsed at his home in Alexandra Road in Uckfield.

Mr Booth went in to hospital on March 26 this year and died almost a month later on April 22.

An inquest into his death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning (December 8).

Coroner Alan Craze heard Mr Booth had difficulty swallowing while he was in hospital and had to have a tube inserted in to his stomach.

The operation was thought, by the surgeons, to be unremarkable but Booth’s colon had been perforated and he died shortly afterward.

Dr Mayhead, the consultant gastroenterologist who carried out the operation, said, “The procedure had run as smoothly as any other procedure.

“I have never personally come across this complication before.

“I have read that it is a known but extremely rare complication.”

Pathologist Jane Mercer, who carried out the post mortem, said the colon was six inches higher than it should have been. It is thought this may have been why the colon was perforated during the operation.

Dr Mayhead said the chances of the colon being damaged in this way were less than one per cent.

Dr David Neal, another consultant gastroenterologist who carried out the operation with Dr Mayhead, agreed it was rare and added, “I have been doing these operations for 16 years and this is the first time I have come across it before.”

Both doctors said they could not have done anything differently.

Mr Craze said, “I am happy to accept that nothing was done that was abnormal or unusual but unfortunately and very, very rarely, it went through the sigmoid colon and that set up peritonitis, of which this frail and old gentleman died.”

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of surgical accident.