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84-year-old dies as a result of undiagnosis

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A coroner has ruled that the death of an 84-year-old man was due to undiagnosed rib fractures during his time at hospital.  George Lonsdale was taken to Nevill Hall hospital after falling at his home in Monmouth in June of last year.  The coroner ruled that his death 12 hours after arriving at hospital was because of a haemothorax, blood within the chest, which was caused by his undiagnosed fractured ribs.

At the inquest hearing, which took place at Gwent Coroner’s Court in Newport, the son of Mr Lonsdale, Brent Lonsdale, said that he had been informed that his dad was at hospital, but was assured by hospital staff that he was not badly hurt. One staff nurse, Julie Owen, gave evidence at the hearing, explaining that Mr Lonsdale had complained of severe back pain, but was only given painkillers as doctors thought that it would just be bruising from the fall.

‘Doctors said he would be fine’

Mr Lonsdale was given a routine x-ray of his chest, yet doctors failed to recognise the damage to his ribs.  It was heard that the night Mr Lonsdale had been taken to hospital, he tried to get out of his bed.  As a result, he was given closer observation, and despite having an erratic heart rate and low oxygen concentration in his blood, doctors said that he would be fine.  Mr Lonsdale went into cardiac arrest the following morning and despite many CPR attempts, he died at 6.16am on June 23, 2013.

A post-mortem examination was carried out, which found fractured ribs on the right side of the chest and internal bleeding that had been ongoing for hours.  A spokesperson from the Aneurin Bevan Health Board said that no comment could be made, but they “fully appreciate the distresss this has caused the family and we offer them our condolences.

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