Grandmother died days after surgeons fitted pacemaker at Royal Bournemouth Hospital

Bournemouth Echo: PROBLEMS: Royal Bournemouth Hospital PROBLEMS: Royal Bournemouth Hospital

A GRANDMOTHER died as her chest filled with blood days after surgeons fitted a pacemaker.

Brenda Cullinane, who was 71, visited the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in May last year after worsening heart problems.

It was decided that she should be given a pacemaker, and consultant cardiology Dr Christopher John Boos fitted the device in an incident-free surgery.

However, on June 3, Mrs Cullinane became ill with vomiting and diarrhoea, and suffered with pains in her stomach and lower back. Her daughter Jane McNair, with whom she was staying, called the hospital to be told that a doctor was not available.

A call was also made to the NHS 111 number, and it was advised that a GP was called. The following day, Dr Timothy Knight of Cornerways Medical Centre in Ringwood visited the house, and prescribed possible gastroenteritis. He failed to write up the notes from the consultation, and the original copies were destroyed, but he told the court that he could recall no cause for concern.

But that night, Mrs Cullinane’s condition worsened, and she collapsed in the bathroom.

At an inquest into her death, Mrs McNair said her mother became “unbalanced and disorientated”. During a 999 call, Mrs McNair pleaded with operators to help, adding “I'm losing her”.

She said: “Mum was dying in front of me and took her last breaths before the ambulance arrived.”

Dr Will Chong, who completed a post-mortem examination, recorded the cause of death was the result of a wire from the pacemaker piercing the wall of her heart. However, during the inquest, he said there was no evidence of a puncture in the heart or the pericardium – a sac surrounding the muscle – that would account for the blood in the pleural cavity around the lungs.

Dr Boos said that if the wall of the heart had been pierced by a wire the problem would have been picked up by an X-ray the day after the operation.

He said: “I cannot in my heart of hearts and with my scientific brain explain how this came to happen”, but added: “A sudden and catastrophic event must have happened”. He also acknowledged that even a tiny hole could allow blood to pass through.

The verdict

Senior coroner for Dorset Sheriff Payne recorded a narrative verdict.

He said: “The cause of death I am going to give is 1a) haemorrhage into the plura due to 1b) ischemic heart disease and part 2) pacemaker insertion.”

He added: “The best I can say is that there was no direct cause of death arising from the procedure.”

Comments (9)

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12:32pm Sat 15 Feb 14

spooki says...

I am stunned that this is still happening! Why are we having "no doctors available" and the seemingly useless 111 phone line? GPs who choose not to make notes after seeing a patient! What's that about?
"Dr Timothy Knight of Cornerways Medical Centre in Ringwood visited the house, and prescribed possible gastroenteritis. He failed to write up the notes from the consultation, and the original copies were destroyed, but he told the court that he could recall no cause for concern."
What???
I am so sorry for this families loss. Sounds like it might have been avoided.
I am stunned that this is still happening! Why are we having "no doctors available" and the seemingly useless 111 phone line? GPs who choose not to make notes after seeing a patient! What's that about? "Dr Timothy Knight of Cornerways Medical Centre in Ringwood visited the house, and prescribed possible gastroenteritis. He failed to write up the notes from the consultation, and the original copies were destroyed, but he told the court that he could recall no cause for concern." What??? I am so sorry for this families loss. Sounds like it might have been avoided. spooki

12:52pm Sat 15 Feb 14

High Treason says...

Knowing the lady had just had a pacemaker fitted, (did he know?) surely he should have had her admitted to the hospital asap. No notes, something odd and very poor practice from a doctor.
Knowing the lady had just had a pacemaker fitted, (did he know?) surely he should have had her admitted to the hospital asap. No notes, something odd and very poor practice from a doctor. High Treason

1:56pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Controversial But True says...

This government and it's sickening cuts have wreaked havoc to the NHS and it's patients.

It's ok for the toffee nosed twits that 'run' or 'ruin' this country because I guess they all have nice private healthcare, that WE pay for in their CORRUPT expenses!
This government and it's sickening cuts have wreaked havoc to the NHS and it's patients. It's ok for the toffee nosed twits that 'run' or 'ruin' this country because I guess they all have nice private healthcare, that WE pay for in their CORRUPT expenses! Controversial But True

2:08pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Not a Friend of the Hospice says...

Howzat for a biased verdict?And not a hint of suspicion that medical records go missing yet again either!
Howzat for a biased verdict?And not a hint of suspicion that medical records go missing yet again either! Not a Friend of the Hospice

3:48pm Sat 15 Feb 14

coster says...

The BMA is the finest trade union in the country. Any one expecting one Doctor to criticise another is in for a long wait.

e
The BMA is the finest trade union in the country. Any one expecting one Doctor to criticise another is in for a long wait. e coster

5:50pm Sat 15 Feb 14

simcal says...

coster wrote:
The BMA is the finest trade union in the country. Any one expecting one Doctor to criticise another is in for a long wait. e
That's why it's so difficult to bring a negligence claim against them. Rather similar to the police.
[quote][p][bold]coster[/bold] wrote: The BMA is the finest trade union in the country. Any one expecting one Doctor to criticise another is in for a long wait. e[/p][/quote]That's why it's so difficult to bring a negligence claim against them. Rather similar to the police. simcal

11:24pm Sat 15 Feb 14

sonaive says...

2 of my family have had icd's fitted and we have had ongoing health issues since yet rbh won't take responsibility for it!!!
2 of my family have had icd's fitted and we have had ongoing health issues since yet rbh won't take responsibility for it!!! sonaive

10:20am Sun 16 Feb 14

s-pb2 says...

Not a Friend of the Hospice wrote:
Howzat for a biased verdict?And not a hint of suspicion that medical records go missing yet again either!
It doesnt help when they lay off admin staff because of cuts
[quote][p][bold]Not a Friend of the Hospice[/bold] wrote: Howzat for a biased verdict?And not a hint of suspicion that medical records go missing yet again either![/p][/quote]It doesnt help when they lay off admin staff because of cuts s-pb2

12:04am Mon 17 Feb 14

Dog friendly 1 says...

Controversial But True wrote:
This government and it's sickening cuts have wreaked havoc to the NHS and it's patients.

It's ok for the toffee nosed twits that 'run' or 'ruin' this country because I guess they all have nice private healthcare, that WE pay for in their CORRUPT expenses!
Its no different in private healthcare. Friend of mine, lost her dad quite recentlly who's pacemaker stopped working properly just two months after being fitted privately. Seems one of the leads came out and it took the consultant nearly two months to recifty this.
The investigation is still ongoing - family are distraught. He was told he was improving.
It does seem that as someone stated, the Consultants, (think they all treat both NHS and private patients) all cover each other.
[quote][p][bold]Controversial But True[/bold] wrote: This government and it's sickening cuts have wreaked havoc to the NHS and it's patients. It's ok for the toffee nosed twits that 'run' or 'ruin' this country because I guess they all have nice private healthcare, that WE pay for in their CORRUPT expenses![/p][/quote]Its no different in private healthcare. Friend of mine, lost her dad quite recentlly who's pacemaker stopped working properly just two months after being fitted privately. Seems one of the leads came out and it took the consultant nearly two months to recifty this. The investigation is still ongoing - family are distraught. He was told he was improving. It does seem that as someone stated, the Consultants, (think they all treat both NHS and private patients) all cover each other. Dog friendly 1

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