Surgeon tells third inquest into Barkingside woman’s death he stands by his actions

Bernard Bloom with a picture of his sister Carmel Bloom.

Bernard Bloom with a picture of his sister Carmel Bloom. - Credit: Archant

A surgeon told the third inquest into the death of a Barkingside woman that he would not have changed his actions, despite her dying after a routine operation.

Carmel Bloom, 54, of Fremantle Road, was admitted to the privately-run BUPA Roding Hospital, Redbridge, now run by Spire Healthcare, on August 27, 2002, with severe pain.

After undergoing a kidney stone operation at the hospital – where she worked as a health controller – her condition deteriorated.

Like most private clinics, BUPA Roding did not have an emergency wing, so surgeon John Hines called 999 in the early hours of August 28 and Ms Bloom was rushed to Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone.

She died 10 days later when her family switched off her life support machine.

Ms Bloom’s brother Bernard has campaigned tirelessly to secure the third inquest, citing fresh evidence that has come to light.

Yesterday, at the Royal Courts of Justice, central London, he asked Mr Hines if he would “act differently” in similar circumstances today.

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“No,” the consultant urologist told senior coroner Karon Monaghan QC.

The Bloom family allege that the kidney stone operation was rushed, and that Miss Bloom was not monitored properly afterwards.

Mr Hines told the court he had assessed her three times in the early hours of the morning, and after finding fluid in her lungs reacted quickly.

“Had I not treated the pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) the patient could have died in the ward or in the ambulance,” he said.

“I was reacting to changes in a clinical situation, time goes faster than it seems.”

Anaesthetist Paul Timmis described how Ms Bloom was “talking and laughing” before the kidney stone operation.

This is the third time these consultants have given evidence about Ms Bloom’s death.

The first inquest in 2003 found she died of natural causes, but that verdict was quashed by the High Court a year later.

The second inquest in 2005 found lack of post-operative care contributed to her death.

That finding, deemed inadequate by the Bloom family, was also quashed.

The latest inquest resumes today.