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'Heroic surgery' did not save woman.


Tragedy of patient who bled to death after op

A WOMAN died after a routine operation - just months after beating breast cancer.

Meltham woman Audrey Turner, 73, died on August 9 last year at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, after an operation to remove her gall bladder.

An inquest at Huddersfield on Wednesday heard that Mrs Turner had beaten breast cancer in April last year.

She had also overcome a heart attack in April 2005.

Mrs Turner suffered from acute cholecystitis - inflammation of the gall bladder.

She first sought help for the problem in September 2005 and was told her gall bladder could be removed.

But because of her recent heart attack, she was told to wait while alternative options were considered.

In January 2006, it was decided that she should have surgery - but then in April she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy.

She beat the disease and was admitted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for her gall bladder operation on August 8.

The inquest heard that during the operation, Mrs Turner's blood pressure rose sharply but this was corrected.

Then, just over two hours into the operation, it dropped sharply and she had an abnormal heart rhythm, but again the surgical team managed to stabilise her.

The operation was more complex than anticipated, so only part of her gall bladder was removed and she was discharged on to the ward.

However, the next day she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was resuscitated and transferred to intensive care, where it was discovered that she was bleeding into her abdomen.

All the sutures from her operation were intact but she was bleeding from small veins around her gall bladder.

Her blood would not clot and, despite surgeon's best efforts, the blood loss could not be stopped and she died.

Assistant Deputy Coroner Paul Marks recorded a verdict of misadventure and said the hospital staff had done everything correctly.

He said: "I am entirely satisfied that everything possible was done to save this lady's life and all measures, including heroic surgery, were undertaken."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2007
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