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Rowley Regis pensioner died after hospital blunder
10:00am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Black Country News
AN elderly Rowley Regis woman died two days after a hospital blunder when was discharged without a vital drug being prescribed.
Dr Mirran Carpenter admitted at yesterday’s inquest into the death of Evelyn Llewellyn that he had made a “mistake” in not including a blood thinning drug on her discharge notes.
The 81-year-old left Sandwell General Hospital after undergoing hip surgery without the anti-coagulant medication and died two days later from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot.
Guidelines suggested the drug should be taken as a precaution against clots forming for a month following surgery, but orthopaedic consultant Divya Prakash said it was probable she had a blood clot already and although the anti-coagulant would stop it growing, it would not break it down.
Recently-qualified Dr Carpenter told the inquest at Smethwick Council House: “I was alarmed by what happened. Since then I have reflected with my peers as to how I can change my practice. I will try to be much more careful next time.”
He had to transfer the details of her medication to the discharge papers, but omitted the anti-coagulant drug which was on a different section of her medical notes. He said patients’ medication details were usually checked by the hospital pharmacist.
Mrs Llewellyn’s son Stan Llewellyn, from Stourbridge, said he had no plans to sue the hospital despite the oversight, but hoped procedures had been put in place to prevent its repeat.
His mother, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, had broken her hip when she fell while trying to get up from a chair at the George Leonard Rest Home, Oldbury Road, on August 20 last year and underwent surgery at the West Bromwich hospital to replace the damaged bone.
Black Country coroner Robin Balmain said a pulmonary embolism was a recognised risk following surgery. An anti-coagulant was not prescribed following her discharge, but he said such therapy would not necessarily have prevented her death.