Inquest: Hatfield woman’s family raises concerns over Lister Hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:24 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 12 September 2018

The Old Courthouse in Hatfield, where the inquest was held. Picture: JP Asher

The Old Courthouse in Hatfield, where the inquest was held. Picture: JP Asher


The husband of a Hatfield woman who died at Lister Hospital has voiced concerns over doctors’ decisions in the lead up to her death.

Rosemary Hanson, 53, died as a result of a bleed from a perforated gastric ulcer on November 22 last year, assistant coroner Francis Cranfield concluded.

At her inquest today (Wednesday, September 12), family members criticised the hospital over its failure to complete an endoscopy – a procedure that involves a camera being inserted into the stomach, which theoretically may have identified the problem.

Hatfield’s Old Courthouse heard how in medical notes from a previous admittance in October, doctors had said the procedure would take place in two weeks.

After being discharged on October 31, she was readmitted with respiratory problems on November 7. However, it was then decided that she may not survive an endoscopy due to other health issues.

Mrs Hanson went on to suffer a gastro internal bleed on the night of November 17, following which junior doctors on call at the time said that she might need an endoscopy. But the following day that plan was scrapped again.

Mrs Hanson’s husband said: “It seemed from that point right up to palliative care the whole thing seemed like no one knew what they were doing, even the nurses treating my wife said so.

“That was our experience. It seemed like no one had made a conscious decision and I think that contributed to my wife’s death.”

However, Doctor She Sing Lok said: “At the time she came in the main issue was the breathing. At that time there was no evidence that she was bleeding.

“So the first indication she was bleeding was on the 17th.”

He added that Mrs Hanson had multiple health problems, which made an endoscopy too risky.

Another doctor’s statement, read to the court, supported that decision – again claiming Mrs Hanson’s medical history meant she was unlikely to survive it.

The court also heard that junior doctors would have been unaware of Mrs Hanson’s medical background when deciding if an endoscopy was needed.

Another Lister doctor, Po Kay Katie Chong, said it did not take place in October because there was no evidence of a bleed, the risks outweighed the intended benefits, and they opted to allow her to recover more beforehand.

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