Hospital bosses apologise for surgery error that led to woman’s death

Carole Lunn
Carole Lunn

Pilgrim Hospital chiefs have apologised for negligence which led to the death of a woman following an operation to remove her appendix.

Carole Lunn, 64, underwent the operation on January 15, 2010, following a bout of appendicitis.

However, complications arose which resulted in further surgery being carried out on January 20, that year.She died nine days later as a result of the ‘anaesthetic mismanagement’ of the surgery.

United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust (ULHT) has now accepted liability for her death.

The case concluded at Lincoln County Court on July 12, having largely been deal with through an out-of-court settlement.

Mrs Lunn, of Frithville, was described as a ‘devoted mother and grandmother’ – with son and daughter Steven Lunn and Samantha Shinn, and four grandchildren.

Speaking to The Standard following the settlement, Mr Lunn described the ordeal at the hospital as ‘traumatic’.

“My sister and I came home each day from visiting her in intensive care and wrote everything down that happened,” he said.

“This helped our case.

“I think they just took their eye off the ball to be honest.

“With them now going into special measures, I would hope that somebody is going to be cracking the whip.”

He added: “I just don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

The family’s case was handled by Langleys solicitors.

A spokesman said: “The trust admitted that a naso-gastric tube should have been passed prior to Mrs Lunn’s surgery and that there was also a failure to apply cricoid pressure as part of the rapid sequence induction of the anaesthesia. They conceded that had these actions been undertaken, Mrs Lunn would have survived.”

A spokesman for ULHT said: “We have apologised unreservedly to the family of Mrs Lunn. We recognise there were shortcomings in her care in January 2010 and we have taken many steps since then to improve our services.

“In particular, we have taken steps to improve communication in theatres to ensure patient safety.”