Archive for July, 2016

Family Expresses Discontent Over Coroner’s Verdict

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

The surviving family of a man who died as a result of undiagnosed injuries after a fall have announced that they hope to pursue compensation despite the coroner’s verdict.

On the 23rd May 2015, Patrick Byrne – aged eighty-seven and living in Melksham – fell in his home. He was rushed to the Royal United Hospital, Bath, where he was admitted for monitoring. After his admission, Patrick’s condition deteriorated and he began experiencing pains in his chest. Soon afterwards, Patrick found that he was unable to move his neck.

Members of Patrick’s family consistently asked medical staff to conduct a more thorough examination of his condition, yet no such examination was undertaken. Patrick was then moved to the Chippenham Community Hospital, though after another fall at that facility he was re-admitted to the Royal United Hospital.

Many weeks after the initial fall, a scan was carried out on Patrick’s neck. This revealed that the first fall and caused a compression of his spinal cord, which would account for his symptoms. Yet, despite this diagnosis, Patrick’s injury did not improve and he regrettably died on the 21st October 2015.

An inquest into the circumstances of Patrick’s death held at the Avon Coroner’s Court earlier this month. It delivered the verdict that Patrick died from natural causes, in spite of the advice of Peter Harrowing, a coroner who claims that Patrick’s death was the result of medical failings and a misdiagnosis upon first admission.

The family of the deceased have commented on the verdict, expressing their disbelief at the “bizarre” verdict. They have also indicted that they hope to pursue a claim for compensation for Patrick’s suffering and death.  Elizabeth, Patrick’s daughter, commented to the Wiltshire Times that “The standard of care my father received fell well below what should have been expected and, if the neck fracture had been diagnosed earlier, he could have had treatment which would have avoided the paralysis and his last months would not have been as distressing. The evidence was there. There were a lot of failures.”

A spokesperson for the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has also issued a statement, claiming that “We would once again like to offer our deepest condolences to Mr Byrne’s family at this difficult time. We acknowledge that we did not always meet our own high standards of care on this occasion and for this we apologise.”