Inquest: Man died following routine hospital procedure

Beaconsfield Coroner's Court

Beaconsfield Coroner's Court

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A MAN in his sixties died following a hospital procedure after air got into his blood, an inquest heard.

Roger Michael, 63, from Chalfont St Peter died on February 28 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

He went to have a biopsy on his left lung, as there was an abnormality and doctors wanted to check if it was malignant.

It was initially thought to be an infection but when antibiotics did not improve his condition, a biopsy was arranged.

Dr Shamas Zaman told the inquest at Beaconsfield Coroner's Court yesterday, the procedure was explained to Mr Michael in the CT room on the morning of February 28.

Dr Zaman inserted the biopsy needle to take a sample, but had to do it again as the site of the lesion was slightly different.

He inserted another needle and this time took two samples.

Dr Zaman said Mr Michael seemed relatively comfortable throughout the procedure.

Once it was finished Mr Michael was asked to lie on his back on the table, but he said he would prefer to sit up.

While he was sitting up he complained of feeling sick and then he started to lean to one side.

He was laid back on the table. Dr Zaman said within minutes his body became tense and his breathing became laboured.

CPR was started by the CT team and a crash team were called, who tried to revive him, but he died at 1.30pm.

The biopsy showed he had a fungal infection in his lung, which is usually treated with medication.

A post mortem by pathologist Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl showed there was no sign of natural disease, which could have caused his death.

There was no sign of the lung collapsing or of excessive bleeding, which are both risks associated with this procedure.

After Dr Fegan-Earl excluded other possible causes, he came to the conclusion Mr Michael died from an air embolism, where air accesses the circulation and means blood cannot flow properly.

The risk of this during this procedure is extremely rare, the inquest heard.

Dr Zaman explained how the patient is asked to hold their breath either on an inhale or exhale, while the needle is inserted and the biopsy taken.

Coroner Richard Hulett said: "What happened here seems to be rare, I almost dread to use that word, unlucky, as it makes it seem as if we are making light of it.

"This was a great misfortune which fell on a young man."

He recorded a verdict of misadventure.

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