Family Claim Compensation for the Failure to Treat a Strangulated Hernia

The family of a man who died in hospital are claiming compensation for the failure to treat a strangulated hernia following a coroner´s verdict into his death.

Vincent McKeown (80) from Bennetthorpe in South Yorkshire attended the Doncaster Royal Infirmary three times in the space of four days in April 2014, complaining of stomach pain and vomiting. On the second of his two visits, Vincent underwent x-rays and had a blood test but was discharged with antibiotics after having been diagnosed with a chest infection.

Vincent returned to the hospital two days later complaining of breathing difficulties. He was sent for a CT scan, but had to be resuscitated on his way to the scan because his condition was deteriorating. It was during the resuscitation attempts that Vincent began vomiting large amounts of brown fluid, and he sadly died in front of his wife Kathleen.

An inquest into Vincent´s death found that notes accompanying the x-ray taken on his second visit to the hospital saying that there were signs consistent with an obstruction in his small bowel had not been escalated to senior staff, who discharged Vincent prematurely believing that his condition was not critical.

The coroner concluded that if Vincent had been treated appropriately on his second visit to the hospital, he would not have died due from the symptoms of his strangulated hernia. The coroner noted that the failure to identify and treat Vincent´s condition amounted to a “gross failure to provide basic care” on the hospital´s behalf.

Following the inquest into Vincent´s death, his wife Kathleen instructed solicitors to claim compensation for the failure to treat a strangulated hernia. She said: “Nothing can ever turn back the clock and bring Vincent back, but we just hope medical staff will consider everything that happened and ensure a similar situation cannot occur to others”.

The Chief Executive for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust – Mike Pinkerton – commented: “We extend our sincerest sympathies and apologise for the loss suffered by Mr McKeown’s family. Following Mr McKeown’s death we began a full internal investigation and have already implemented changes”.