Family call for improvements after retired farmer dies during a routine operation at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:45 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:20 25 October 2017

Hinchingbrooke Hospital says it  is addressing staffing issues after a man died following a routine operation last year.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital says it is addressing staffing issues after a man died following a routine operation last year.

Archant

Hinchingbrooke Hospital says it is addressing staffing issues after a retired farmer was deprived of oxygen for 21 minutes during a routine knee replacement surgery and later died.

The family of the 71 year old, who suffered irreversible brain damage when he was deprived of oxygen, have called for improvements in what they describe as a “dysfunctional and hierarchical anaesthetic department” at the hospital.

Peter Saint went into cardiac arrest during routine surgery last year after a breathing tube was wrongly inserted into his oesophagus instead of the trachea and he went without oxygen for 21 minutes.

He died five days later in the critical care unit.

A five-day inquest at Huntingdon heard that three senior anaesthetists failed to recognise the error.

Tom Harrison, acting for Mr Saint’s family, said: “We are content that this inquest has fully investigated the very unfortunate circumstances that led to the death of Peter Saint. His death was unnecessary and avoidable.

“Nothing we can say or do will bring Peter back, however, we hope the necessary lessons have been learnt by the medical staff and management at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and that appropriate steps have, or will be, put in place to improve, what in June last year, was a dysfunctional and hierarchical anaesthetic department.”

The anaesthetist in charge that day was Dr Ingo Hille who admitted he made a “crucial error” in his misplacement of the tube.

The inquest heard his mistake was compounded by a failure on the part of Dr Abdu Ayman and Dr Vaithseewaran Silva to identify the error.

According to coroner Sean Horstead, this “emboldened Dr Hille” to stick with his view that other factors were responsible for Mr Saint’s decline.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital described the death of Mr Saint, of Somersham, as “unexpected and avoidable” and said it had commissioned an independent report to look into the circumstances of the incident.

It says it is addressing staffing issues

An inquest in Huntingdon heard that the theatre department at Hinchingbrooke was “hierarchical” and questions were raised about whether non-medical and less senior staff, were listened to or “had a voice”.

Dr Kanchan Rege, medical director at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the running of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “Following Mr Saint’s death, a report from an independent anaesthetist was obtained and formed the basis of an extensive action plan, on which good progress has already been made.

“A general training programme across our medical workforce has addressed some of the staffing issues raised in the report and some individual retraining has also taken place.”

The anaesthetist in charge that day was Dr Ingo Hille who admitted he made a “crucial error”, in his misplacement of the tube, but the inquest heard this was compounded by a failure on the part of fellow anaesthetists, Dr Abdu Ayman and Dr Vaithseewaran Silva, to identify the error.

Inquest verdict

Coroner Sean Horstead said Mr Saint’s death had been caused by “human factors” and the hierarchical culture in the theatre had played a significant role in the error not being spotted sooner.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:53

The county council says it will make the Traffic Commissioners aware of a major investigation being undertaken into the Fenland Association of Community Transport (FACT) when they decide on whether to allow them operator licences to run commercial services through new limited companies.

Yesterday, 11:32

A man familiar to people in and around Ely for dressing up as Father Christmas is hanging up his red jacket and white beard, having collected over £2,800 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Yesterday, 18:26

‘Houston we have a problem’ admitted county councillor Bill Hunt, vice chairman of the county council highways and community infrastructure, when he offered a public apology today for the number of potholes across Cambridgeshire.

Yesterday, 14:54

Jean Herrema, artist, dressmaker and co-founder of a long-running Ely women’s group, has died aged 86.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter