Death due to delay in hip surgery

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Coroner Anna Crawford has found that there was ‘no clinical reason’ for a delay for surgery of five days at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which resulted in the death of a patient.

Ms Anne Rowland was noted to have died from aspiration pneumonia, dementia and neck of femur fracture. The Coroner prepared a Regulation 28 Report to Prevent Future Deaths, as a result. It is understood that the NICE Guideline on the Management of Hip Fractures recommends that surgery take place on the day of injury or the day thereafter. This is because early mobilisation is recommended to reduce the risk of complications, such as pneumonia.

It was recorded that there were infrastructure risks at East Surrey Hospital which compromised the Trust’s ability to perform operations within the timeframes as set out by NICE Guidance. Therefore putting further lives at risk.

The coroner concluded that action needed to be taken to prevent future deaths.

Whilst this will offer some comfort to the family of Ms Rowland, it will not change their tragic loss.

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