Shrewsbury Man Died After Hospital Staff Failed To Notice Punctured Oesophagus

Family To Take Action Following Inquest Verdict


A Shropshire family is to take legal action following the death of a 73 year old father of two who died as a result of damage he suffered to his oesophagus during a procedure carried out at Shrewsbury Hospital.

An inquest into the death of Dennis Edwards from Shrewsbury, took place today (Thursday 19th May) before HM Deputy Coroner for Birmingham who recorded a narrative verdict.

Following the hearing a medical law expert from Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said the family expressed relief that the Trust today confirmed changes have been made and that lessons appeared to have been learnt following Mr Edward’s death.

The coroner heard that Mr Edwards, who for over 25 years worked as a water worker, was admitted to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital in July 2010, suffering with abdominal pains. His condition subsequently led to an ERCP procedure being carried out at Shrewsbury Hospital in an attempt to remove gallstones.

The procedure could not be completed as the Consultant encountered difficulties during the procedure and he was concerned that he may have caused damage to the oesophagus. The Consultant immediately arranged for x-rays to see whether any damage had in fact occurred.

Mr Edwards was transferred back to Telford Hospital shortly after the procedure where his condition deteriorated. It wasn’t until the following day when his worried daughter, Diane shared her concerns with a doctor who arranged further scans.

The inquest hearing heard that the subsequent scans found that Mr Edwards had suffered a perforation to his oesophagus and, as a result, he was urgently transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for emergency surgery. Despite efforts by the surgeons and medical staff to clear Mr Edwards’ infection he sadly died six weeks later.

Mr Edwards leaves behind his wife, Jean 68, and two daughters; Diane 46 and Julie 43 as well as 4 grandchildren.

Tom Riis-Bristow, a medical law expert with Irwin Mitchell solicitors, who is representing the family, said:  “Mrs Edwards and her family are pleased that there has been an inquest investigation and that those responsible for Mr Edwards’ care were called to give evidence and explain the sequence of events leading up to his death.

“As a result of what happened, the family is now pursuing legal action against The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, to ensure that justice is obtained for Mr Edwards tragic death.” 

Julie Fletcher, Mr Edwards’ daughter commented: “We have always been a really close family and after he had passed away, I could not believe what had happened. He suffered for a really long time and it was very upsetting knowing there was nothing we could do other than to watch life ebb away.

“I have lost my Father and my children have lost their much loved Granddad. He was the centre of our small family and his death has left us all devastated.”