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Maidstone: Inquest hears how 60-year-old man died days after operation to remove tumor

A man who died days after a 'routine' operation at Maidstone Hospital was not monitored hourly as specified by his doctor, a coroner has heard.

Sunil Sinha suffered a massive heart attack in February last year and died despite 10 attempts to resuscitate him.

An inquest at Archbishop's Palace today heard how the 60-year-old from Tunbridge Wells had gone under the knife to remove a small tumour in his bowel, detected during a checkup.

Maidstone Hospital
Maidstone Hospital

Despite minor bleeding the surgery was a success. The father was on the road to recovery, until two days later on the morning of February 6, Dr Peter Howes found Mr Sinha pale, struggling to breathe and on the verge of a cardiac arrest.

Several members of the surgical and nursing teams in charge of Mr Sinha's care gave evidence and a statement read from his wife.

She told the coroner Mr Sinha had been heavy smoker and suffered shortness of breath when climbing hills. At one point he went through up to 40 cigarettes a day, until he finally kicked the habit and began focussing on his health.

At a checkup she said a nurse described his lungs as being in the same condition as that of an 80-year-old.

Mr Sinha's family also have a history of heart problems.

The inquest was at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone
The inquest was at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone

Harry Trusted, representing Mr Sinha's family, questioned whether these issues may not have been fully communicated to staff at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust ahead of the surgery.

The decision of the surgical team not to place Mr Sinha into an intensive care unit after the procedure also came into the question.

Giving evidence, Dr Danny Lawes, who carried out the operation, said full knowledge of Mr Sinha's medical history could have had an impact on the treatment he received.

The court heard in the run-up to Mr Sinha's death, his blood pressure dipped and required a blood transfusion before it was stabilised. This is believed to have been caused by internal bleeding.

Surgical registrar Dr Peter Howes said he had instructed nursing teams at the Oliver Pye Ward to carry out hourly check-up.

Giving evidence, Lillian Mukanzu, staff nurse and Arthur Burton, a clinical support worker, confirmed hourly checkups had not always been maintained and details of Mr Sinha's vital signs had not always been correctly recorded.

Dr David Rouse, pathologist at Medway Maritime Hospital, gave the cause of death as hemorrhage, anterior resection of the large bowel and heart disease.

The inquest will conclude tomorrow.

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