Dad-of-three died on hospital bathroom floor after doctor didn’t give him vital life-saving drugs

April 2, 2013 | by | 1 Comment
Edward McKean died on the bathroom floor of a hospital after a bungling junior doctor left life-saving drugs off his medication chart

Edward McKean died on the bathroom floor of a hospital after a bungling junior doctor left life-saving drugs off his medication chart

A dad-of-three died on the bathroom floor of a hospital after a bungling junior doctor left life-saving drugs off his medication chart, an inquest has heard.

Medics failed to realise Edward McKean, 52, was not receiving vital blood-thinners for SIX DAYS after he underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumour.

But he did not receive the drugs – designed to reduce the risk of blood clots – after a junior doctor missed them off his treatment chart when she copied it up.

As a result, a clot in Mr McKean’s leg broke free and blocked an artery, causing a fatal pulmonary embolism as he walked to the toilet.

A coroner ruled that doctors and nurses missed numerous opportunities to spot their mistake and said “neglect” had been a contributing factor to his death.

An inquest at Coventry Magistrates Court on Friday heard that the keen walker’s life could probably have been saved if the mistake had been picked up.

Mr McKean had surgery to correct a rare tumour in his nasal cavity and skull at University Hospital Coventry on April 3 last year.

He initially received the anti-coagulant medication after the op but stopped receiving it following the error by the junior.

The contracts manager, from Solihull, West Mids., collapsed and died as he walked to the toilet on April 22 last year, almost three weeks after his operation.

Mr McKean’s partner Susan Rickards told the inquest she “fought for a year” to stop the tragedy being “swept under the carpet”.

Describing the moment she learned of his death, she told the inquest: “The hospital rang me at five in the morning and told me there was an emergency, so I shot up there.

“I assumed Eddie had fallen over so I sat in the car and put mascara on.

“I thought if he saw I was calm it would help him to keep calm.

“I thought he might have broken his arm or leg, but when I got to the ward they told me he was gone.”

Consultant neurosurgeon Hussien El-Maghraby admitted the mistake should have been detected sooner.

He said: “What is serious was that it was not picked up for six days.”

Mr El-Maghraby added that when he learned what had happened he sent an e-mail to the hospital’s chief executive.

Deputy coroner Louise Hunt asked him: “On a scale of one to 10, how serious would you say these collective failings were?”

He replied: “Very serious, 10 out of 10. “That’s what made me send an e-mail.”

The inquest heard the hospital had since improved ward rounds and made other changes to minimise the risk of a similar tragedy.

Ruling that neglect had contributed to Mr McKean’s death, Ms Hunt asked the hospital to send her written confirmation that it had implemented measures to prevent similar mistakes occurring again.

Dr Mike Iredale, deputy medical director, apologised to the family for the “unimaginable distress and grief” the hospital had caused them.

He accepted serious mistakes were made and promised the hospital would continue to improve its procedures.

Verdict: Narrative.

Category: News

Comments (1)

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  1. Rebecca Olesen says:

    This is why family members have got to read the chart, ask about drugs given and what they are for, and if one of the drugs is not being given – ASK WHY. Keep your own record of drugs administered and when. Compare it against the initial instructions.

    I know a woman who died of peritonitis because they were not bringing her antibiotic IV bags, even though it was marked on the chart. This kind of thing seems to happen over and over again. Stupid life costing mistakes.

    Doctors treat us like stupid ignorant plebs who are below them and presume we are all too stupid to understand what is going on or are incapable of learning/understanding because we do not have medical degrees.

    DO NOT let any doctor make you feel that way EVER! Do NOT leave everything in their hands, its YOUR life – not theirs. They are not doing you a ‘favor’ they are doing their jobs for which they are paid. If they don’t like questions, tell them too bad it is their job to answer, otherwise you will seek help from their chief of staff, the medical board and anybody else you can think of – it would be a whole lot easier to just answer the questions!!

    People sent home from emergency rooms, parents who know something is wrong but are treated as hysterics. In Sweden a man was taken by ambulance to the emergency room 57 times over a few years – headaches so bad he passed out, they refused a SIMPLE Xray. Finally he had to pretend like he was having a stroke to get the Xray and it showed brain lesions caused by a bird virus and 2 weeks of treatment stopped all the headaches. Only NOW he needs brain surgery & suffered horribly for at least 5 years. ANOTHER man had a 5 year old daughter with bad headaches, they kept sending her to the eyedoctor (who said her vision was fine)and came up with a million excuses to basically do nothing. he did what I do HE PUSHED, he got an Xray and his daughter had BRAIN CANCER. She would have died if he had just given in.

    My husband would have died several times if I had not been a total pushy, aggressive, bitch when it came to his treatment. There was never a single time when I was wrong and they were right. He had stage 4 cancer that should have been diagnosed MUCH earlier. The doctor putting in a simple PEG tube almost killed him cutting an artery, the surgeon who was going to do a biopsy decided to do a full tonsillectomy and removal of Adenoid gland and FORGOT TO TELL US or give care instructions, the list goes on and on forever.

    At least these investigators told the truth and didn’t try to lie like they usually always do.

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