Inquest to investigate death of Birmingham woman following breast surgery negligence

Breast implant negligence

04.07.2006

A two-day inquest is due to begin (at 10.00 am Monday 3rd July) into the death of a 45-year-old Quinton woman who died at Selly Oak hospital on 7th August 2005 following reconstructive breast surgery.

Birmingham Coroner, Aidan Cotter, is due to hear that Mrs Deborah Yardley, stopped breathing in theatre in the final stages of a 7-hour operation.

When medical staff removed a ventilation tube from Mrs Yardley's throat it is believed she suffered a larynospasm (involuntary closure of the larynx which obstructed the flow of air to the lungs.) A delay in dealing with this led to Mrs Yardley suffering a cardio-respiratory arrest.

As a result she suffered irreversible brain damage and sadly died three days later.

It is understood that following the incident the anaesthetist involved was suspended pending a possible disciplinary investigation.

Breast Implant Solicitor

The family's solicitor, Julie Lewis, from national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: Eight months prior to her death, Deborah Yardley had instructed me to act on her behalf, to investigate why there had been a delay in the diagnosis of her breast cancer.

In July 2005 the Trust admitted that a positive mammogram taken in December 2002 had wrongly been filed away, without Mrs Yardley being re-called for follow-up treatment.

By the time Mrs Yardley's breast cancer was detected some 6 months later, it had become so widespread that she had to undergo a complete mastectomy of her right breast.

I am extremely concerned that the Trust appears to have failed in its duty of care to Mrs Yardley not once, but twice.

On the second occasion the apparent failure by medical staff, to spot she was unable to breathe following surgery and to take appropriate action, resulted in tragic and fatal consequences.

Widower, Mr David Yardley, aged 44, commented: Deborah was very angry when the found out the hospital had failed to diagnose her breast cancer quickly enough. She always believed that but for the delay in diagnosis, she might have avoided the mastectomy.

The Trust had let Deborah down in the late diagnosis of her breast cancer but we thought they would take better care of her during the reconstructive surgery. Our daughter, Clare, and I have been completely devastated by her death and we are hoping the inquest will answer a number of serious questions we have about the way she was treated by the Trust.