Cancer patient died after surgery ‘complications’ at Sunderland hospital

Sunderland Royal Hospital
Sunderland Royal Hospital
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AN elderly cancer patient died after suffering “complications” following surgery, an inquest heard.

Pensioner Pauline Peacock underwent the operation at Sunderland Royal Hospital last year after, being diagnosed with colon cancer.

However, the 78-year-old, of Sycamore Avenue, Harraton, Washington, suffered a “deterioration in her clinical condition” shortly after the op and died on June 30.

Despite medics removing the cancer, Mrs Peacock developed an abdominal “leak”, leading to further treatment and surgery.

A pathologist report also confirmed she had multiple organ failure and a chest infection, as well as underlying health problems.

An inquest in Sunderland was told how the family of Mrs Peacock raised concerns about her suitability for surgery and the management of her care.

Consultant Robert Corson told the hearing, at Sunderland Civic Centre that before the operation he had explained the risks, taking into account the patient’s age and condition, but she elected to go ahead with it.

“While there were significant risks, they were not so high that we could not carry out the surgery,” he said.

Mr Corson stressed he had followed official consent procedures ahead of the surgery, and initial reports revealed it had been successful.

“The patient was kept in intensive care after the operation and her condition improved, allowing her to leave,” Mr Corson added.

“But she was not progressing as well as we hoped and a scan suggested that she had a ‘leakage’.”

Ward manager Sharon Buttle also told the inquest that staff did everything they could to monitor Mrs Peacock’s condition and post-op treatment, including the “drains” used to remove fluid.

“We endeavour to empty the bags as often and as quickly as we can,” she said.

“We do this for a variety of reasons, but most importantly to maintain the quality of patient care.”

In a narrative verdict, coroner Derek Winter said Mrs Peacock died as a result of “surgical complication of a surgical procedure”.

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