HAILSHAM: Nurses not at fault despite daughter’s panic at death bed

NURSES noticed nothing wrong with a man on his death bed despite a panic-stricken daughter’s request for a doctor, an inquest heard on Thursday (May 26).

Surgeons removed a cancerous tumour from 88-year-old William Widdop’s bowel and doctors said he was recovering from the operation. But his daughter said he was rapidly deteriorating and asked for a doctor to tend to him.

He died in the early hours of Christmas Eve, five days after surgery at Eastbourne DGH.

Joanna Widdop, from Hailsham, said, “I felt every day when we went in that he had deteriorated, in particular the day before he died. I was absolutely alarmed.

“In the moment I walked into his room I just felt utterly panic stricken. All day I was absolutely beside myself.”

Nurses said Mr Widdop had shown little sign of deterioration in the days leading up to his death. It was only when a nurse, on her rounds at 2.45am noticed he was confused, with a low blood pressure and oxygen levels that a doctor was called.

He died three hours later.

Coroner Alan Craze said although he understood the family’s concerns, there were no clinical mishaps. He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

He said, “There’s no accident that has taken place. There’s nothing anyone has done which has assisted in causing Mr Widdop’s death.”

Mr Widdop was due to have surgery in January 2010, but took a turn for the worse and doctors operated on him on December 18. Although it appeared Mr Widdop was recovering, a 10mm gap opened in the area of bowel which had been operated on and its contents leaked into his abdomen.

Mr Widdop, of Meadow Road, Hailsham, died on Christmas Eve 2009.