Father-of-Two Died After Medical Staff Failed to Carry Out Life-Saving Blood Transfusion - Clinical Negligence Advice Helpline

Suffered through medical negligence? Free information and guidance.

Father-of-Two Died After Medical Staff Failed to Carry Out Life-Saving Blood Transfusion

York_Hospital_Front_entranceThe family of a man who died after medical staff FORGOT to give him a life-saving blood transfusion have called for lessons to be learned after an inquest heard that a catalogue of failings led to his tragic death.

John Hatfield, 69, from Heworth, in York was under long term treatment for Atrial Fibrillation, a common condition which causes irregular rhythm in the heart and affects around one in 20 adults over the age of 65 years. John’s condition was under regular review and well controlled by the medication he was taking.

John was admitted to York Hospital on 1st May, 2013 and swiftly diagnosed with a gastrointestinal bleed, a side effect of his anticoagulant medication, Warfarin. Yet only eight hours later he collapsed, suffering a cardiac arrest, after medical staff simply forgot to give him a life-saving blood transfusion.

A blood order was placed with the hospital’s blood bank within one hour of John’s admission to the Emergency Department at 16:55, but a decision was made to delay the transfusion and transfer John to the Acute Medical Ward. He arrived at the ward at 22.25, already with chest pains and heart palpitations, and was neither monitored by a nurse, nor ever visited by a doctor. After being left for nearly THREE hours alone on a ward, his low volume of blood caused a cardiac arrest and he never regained consciousness. He died on 8 May 2013 after his life support machine was switched off.

Following today’s narrative verdict, specialist medical negligence lawyers have had an admission of liability from the Trust and said they are calling for lessons to be learned to prevent the same mistakes happening again.

A Serious Untoward Incident Report compiled by the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust found that:

“I would like to thank the Coroner for taking the time to investigate what happened to John – it has taken our family over a year of meetings, including insisting that the hospital issue a revised Serious Untoward Incident Report to replace what we felt was a flawed one. I hope lessons are learned to prevent this happening to others in future.”