A grieving family is demanding answers after a relative died of serious complications following routine surgery at Southend Hospital.
George Bastick, 84, had undergone an operation to remove a gallbladder on 31 January 2013 but died three days later of multi-organ failure.
The family learnt that during the procedure a surgeon had punctured an artery leading to Mr Bastick’s liver and also damaged his bowel causing a small hole to open. A life-threatening infection resulting from the leaking bowel was only discovered two days later when a second operation was performed on the married great-grandfather from Canvey Island. By that time it was too late to stop the infection overwhelming his system.
His family has now launched legal action against Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust alleging serious clinical negligence.
In a statement released by specialist clinical negligence law firm Slater and Gordon Lawyers, his family said, “We have been left utterly devastated by George’s death. But our grief is turning to anger as we learn more about the circumstances surrounding his treatment at Southend Hospital.
“George was a fit and active man when he first went into that hospital for what should have been a routine operation to remove his gallbladder. We’ve now found out that during that surgery his bowel was badly damaged and an artery punctured.
“We want to find out why, within a few days of that procedure, he had died. How could it have gone so badly wrong? We are determined that whatever went wrong in George’s case should never happen again. We’d hate for another family to go through what we have.
“He was the heart and soul of our family; he was an East End barrow boy who always had a sparkle in his eye and a story to tell. George was a loving husband to Eileen, who he had been married to for more than 50 years, and his death has had an overwhelming impact on her life.
“He was a wonderful father of five, grandfather to 11 grandchildren and two stepchildren, and a great-grandfather to four children and four step-great-grandchildren. He was just a lovely man, a wonderful husband, father and friend to many people. To lose someone like that to natural causes is devastating but understandable. To lose George as we have has made our grief so much worse.”
The family’s Clinical Negligence Solicitor Penny Fitzpatrick of Slater and Gordon Lawyers said, “Mr Bastick’s death appears to have been entirely preventable and a result of a number of failings in his care. He went in for a routine operation during which an artery leading to his liver was punctured and his bowel was damaged. The damage to his bowel was detected days later when a second operation was carried out to remove an abdominal pack, used to stem internal bleeding from the punctured artery.”
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