Inquest rules ‘no potential shortfall’ in death of South Woodford woman, 82

A “fit and healthy” 82-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from sickness, died weeks later on the operating table.

Beryl Bristow, of Bressey Grove, South Woodford died at Whipps Cross Hospital, Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone on September 1 last year during an emergency bowel operation.

Mrs Bristow’s family, who attended the inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, Queens Road, Walthamstow on Monday, claim there was a number of errors by medical staff which contributed to her death.

The coroner ruled there had been no “short fall” in the care of Mrs Bristow and he hoped the family could draw a line under it.

Mrs Bristow’s son-in-law, Stanley Wainwright, said: “Beryl obviously had something really wrong but staff didn’t pick up on it. If she had been given the proper treatment she would be here today.”

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The family claim a series of mistakes were made in her medical history and that she was not well enough for surgery.

Coroner, Chinyere Inyama, ruled a narrative verdict and corrected the cause of death to peritonitis, the inflammation of the tissue that lined the inside of the abdomen and surrounds and supports organs, due to a tear in the colon which happened during a recent operation.

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He said: “There was no potential short fall. Beryl’s post-op recovery was slow which escalated the situation and the patient never recovered.

“I hope this will help the family draw a line however I doubt that it has. I understand that it is difficult to see a lady who was fit and healthy go into hospital and not survive.”

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