Misadventure verdict as pre-surgery test missed

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DOCTORS failed to take an up-to-date medical test from a patient ahead of bowel surgery - instead replying on the results from an examination seven-and-a-half months previously.

David Allen, from Maltby, died six weeks after the procedure at Rotherham Hospital to reverse a colostomy due to complications relating to the operation.

Before he underwent the surgery doctors relied on the results of a gastrografin test - designed to check the bowels are working properly - taken seven-and-a-half months earlier. The 62-year-old needed the operation following surgery for rectal cancer in April 2009.

It had always been the plan to reverse the colostomy once he had finished chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but doctors failed to carry out a new test which could have shown he was not in a fit enough condition to undergo the procedure because of a blockage in his bowel.

The court heard Mr Allen was rushed back to hospital five days after being discharged because he was vomiting and unable to eat properly.

A CT scan revealed the blockage. He died six weeks later on August 5.

An inquest at Rotherham Coroner’s Court yesterday recorded a verdict of misadventure.

His widow Eileen said: “Our whole family has been devastated by David’s death. It is heartbreaking to think he might have survived if doctors had performed a new test before surgery. Nothing can be done to bring him back to us but we hope that by highlighting this case lessons will be learnt.”