16 July 2013
Family in nil-by-mouth legal action
A family is launching a medical negligence claim against Salford Royal Hospital after an 80-year-old under the trust's care was mistakenly given food despite directions she should be placed on a regimen of nil-by-mouth.
Marion Sampler died as a result of the incident after contracting aspiration pneumonia when food or drink became lodged in her airway.
The family of Mrs Sampler initially believed their loved one had received the best standard of care and even sent chocolates and a card to staff at the trust thanking them for their actions. However, a coroner's inquest later highlighted the mistake on the part of the trust.
She had been a lively and fit 80-year-old woman when admitted to the care of Salford Royal Hospital. However, three weeks later she suffered considerable unexpected weight loss and infection and subsequently passed away.
Medical negligence solicitor Katie Nolan told the BBC: "This is an unacceptable failure in basic care and it is crucial that Marion's family understand how this was allowed to happen and receive assurances that safeguards have been put in place to prevent it from happening again."
The report from Bolton Coroner's Court revealed a documented direction of nil-by-mouth had not been followed by staff at Salford Royal Hospital, resulting in the untimely death of a woman who had previously been in good health.
Mrs Sampler's son-in-law Steven Cooper told the BBC his mother-in-law was active and had excellent mental function when she was admitted to the hospital and the family are now "devastated" by what has happened.
A statement from Salford Royal Hospital said: "We acknowledge we have let [the family of Mrs Sampler] down".
Director of nursing Elaine Inglesby-Burke added the trust prides itself on its openness and transparency and moved to explain the situation to the family of Mrs Sampler after she passed away. Unfortunately, the issues were not explained as thoroughly as they should have been and the trust "sincerely regrets this".
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Posted by Chris Stevenson