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Father died after doctor failed to give him life-saving drugs

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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The Daily Mail has recently reported that father-of-three Mr Edward McKean, 52, died in hospital after a junior doctor left life-saving drugs off his medication chart.

In April 2012, Mr McKean underwent surgery to correct a rare tumour in his nasal cavity and skull at the University Hospital Coventry. Mr McKean was initially prescribed the vital blood-thinning drugs after his operation but they were stopped, following a doctor’s error when she missed them off his treatment chart when copying them up.

Mr McKean did not receive the anti-coagulation drugs for 6 days and as a result, a blood clot formed in his leg, broke free, and blocked an artery, causing a fatal pulmonary embolism. Mr McKean unfortunately passed away as he walked to the bathroom on the 22nd April 2012, almost 3 weeks after his operation.

An inquest at Coventry Magistrates Court heard that a post-mortem found the deceased had already suffered a smaller embolism which could have alerted doctors to their mistake and saved his life.

The Coroner ruled that the doctors and nurses missed numerous opportunities to identify their mistake and said ‘neglect’ has been a contributing factor to his death.

Dr Mike Iredale, Deputy Medical Director at the hospital has apologised to the deceased’s family and accepted that serious mistakes were made. He has reassured them that since Mr McKean’s tragic death they have improved their ward rounds and made other changes to minimise the risk of a similar incident.

By Sarah Fairclough