Search

Man died after Royal London doctors ignored his symptoms

PUBLISHED: 12:24 16 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:24 16 June 2015

Royal London Hospital

Royal London Hospital

Archant

Doctors missed out on many chances to save the life of a stained glass window craftsman who died of a rare complication after he fell off a ladder.

Edward Perry, 57, fractured his spine on February 28 2013 whilst trying to get a suitcase out of the loft at his home in Victoria Park Road for a holiday to Portugal.

His daughter was told by doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel that his injury was very common and he would be out of hospital within a week, but by March 8 he was dead.

An inquest at Poplar Coroner’s Court heard how doctors failed to act on the fact that his stomach had swollen up by March 2 through paralysis of the bowel, a rare complication of spinal injury caused by surrounding nerve damage.

Eventually he suffered “catastrophic vomiting” and cardiac arrest.

Dr Bunker, ICU consultant and anaesthetist, who was drafted in after a year to lead the delayed investigation into his death, said it had been repeatedly noticed in the medical records he had a distended abdomen. He said: “We could have intervened more aggressively to prevent what happened on the night of March 7, the trouble is we continued a conservative approach on the 4, 5 and 6 despite him not getting better.”

However the barrister acting for the family said: “When you say the conservative approach was adopted regarding the abdomen, that’s not the case is it? There was no plan in place regarding the abdomen.” 
Dr Bunker agreed and went on to detail how junior members of staff now receive training on how to manage deteriorating patients, and how neurosurgeons are responsible “not only at the brain and nerves but the whole patient”.

There was also a recognition the major trauma centre was understaffed, as there was only one registrar working that night.

Coroner William Dolman recorded a narrative verdict, ruling Mr Perry died of an extremely rare complication of a spinal injury caused by a fall, which wasn’t recognised in time.

He said: “From the facts we are getting very close to neglect but we don’t reach the standard required by law. The real problem arose because the gravity of the clinical picture was not appreciated, the doctors saw the signs but didn’t recognise their significance.”

Latest East London News Stories

Two suspected phone snatchers have been arrested following a police chase through east and south London which ended when their moped crashed with a van.

A large drug dealing gang who peddled their wares on the streets of Tower Hamlets are due to be sentenced today.

09:15

A drug-smuggling gun runner who stored cannabis and equipment used to prep cocaine in a house in Poplar has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.

Yesterday, 18:24

All the students taking A-levels at Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have passed.

Yesterday, 16:00

Two directors of a convenience store in Bethnal Green where one of the largest haul of illegal alcohol was seized in the borough have been banned from running their own companies.

Yesterday, 14:25

A man has been rushed to hospital after he was hit by a car in Mile End today.

Yesterday, 14:19

A student from Canary Wharf has secured a place at university for September - accompanied by her guide dog.

Yesterday, 14:03

Students poured into Tower Hamlets College in Poplar when the doors opened to get their A-Level results—for the last time.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now