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'Serious systemic failure' at Northwick Park Hospital

Leigh Day & Co has represented the family of Velina Spence at the inquest into her death

Posted on 05 November 2008

On 20th October, Her Majesty’s Coroner, Mr Andrew Walker held an Inquest into the death of Mrs Velina Spence following treatment at Northwick Park Hospital.

On 10th September 2007 Mrs Spence underwent thirteen hour surgery to remove a tumour from her jaw. Due to the extensive surgery, surgeons fashioned a tracheostomy to maintain Mrs Spence’s airway as it was anticipated that she would suffer some swelling post operatively. The operation was considered a success and she was transferred to ITU. Shortly after arrival on ITU the nurses decided to change her bed sheets. In attempting to do so and in turning Mrs Spence, the tracheostomy tube became displaced and Mrs Spence became hypoxic, suffering significant brain damage. Sadly Mrs Spence died from her injuries on 23rd September 2007.

Mr Walker recorded a narrative verdict stating that there had been a serious systemic failure to restore Mrs Spence’s airway and as a result of that failure she died.

Mrs Spence’s children are advised by Olive Lewin, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Department.

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