Wife Who Was Pregnant With Couple’s First Child And Medical Negligence Lawyers Call For Lessons To Be Learned
A Hospital Trust has admitted liability for the death of a dad-to-be who died following a delay in treating a hernia.
Adam Hurst died aged 31 from a rare type of hernia hours after arriving at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
The builder, who was rolling on the floor in pain, was assessed in the ‘minor’s’ area of A&E rather than the ‘major’s’ department that deals with more serious incidents.
Adam died following hernia care delays
Adam, of Huntingdon, should have been initially assessed within 10 minutes but waited 50 minutes, an internal NHS investigation report found. There was a further delay of nearly an hour in having a CT scan because of a fire alarm in the radiology department.
Approaching five hours after his admission, Adam suffered a cardiac arrest. He died around 50 minutes later.
At the time Adam’s wife, Victoria Hurst, was 25 weeks pregnant with their first child. Victoria later gave birth to daughter, Alice-Rose Adam Hurst.
Medical negligence lawyers asked to investigate Huntingdon man's care
Following the youth football coach’s death, Victoria, aged 35, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Adam’s care and help secure her family’s future.
North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, has now admitted liability for Adam’s death and apologised.
In a letter on behalf of the Trust, Caroline Walker, chief executive, said she was “truly sorry for the failings in Adam’s care.”
She added: “I can only imagine how distressing it must be for you to know that Adam should have received care that would have saved his life.”
Amie Minns is the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing, Victoria.
Expert Opinion“Victoria and the rest of Adam’s family remain devastated by his death and the circumstances surrounding it.
“The care failings that Adam experienced ended in the most devastating way and will continue to affect his family for the rest of their lives.
“While we welcome the Trust’s admissions and apology, it’s now vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety.” Amie Minns
Medical negligence: Adam Hurst's story
Adam was admitted to hospital just after 6.50pm on 7 December, 2018, suffering from severe stomach pain.
He was placed in the ‘minor’s’ section of A&E and assessed by a doctor at around 7.45pm. Following further discussion, it was decided Adam should have a CT scan of his abdomen. However, this was delayed because of a fire alarm in the department.
Adam underwent a scan at around 10pm which highlighted an undetected congenital diaphragmatic hernia and fluid in his stomach.
After arriving on a surgical ward ahead of a planned pre-operative assessment, Adam suffered a cardiac arrest at around 11.40pm. He died at 12.30am on 8 December, 2018.
Following legal submissions by Irwin Mitchell, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust admitted that if Adam had undergone surgery by 8pm, or at any time prior to his cardiac arrest, then he would have survived.
North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust report also finds care issues
An internal serious incident report by the Trust also found issues in Adam’s care including:
• It was unable to accommodate a seriously unwell patient in ‘major’s’ at the time of admission;
• There was a delay in medical assessment for a patient triaged as orange. This requires a medical assessment within 10 minutes. Adam waited 50 minutes from assessment to triage;
• Inadequate pain management of Adam’s condition;
• There was inadequate frequency of observations;
• Inadequate communication, both verbal and written between staff.
Adam's wife Victoria calls for lessons to be learned
Victoria, who gave birth to Alice-Rose in February 2019, said: “Adam was in absolute agony and I knew I had to get him to hospital as soon as I could. Even at hospital his pain continued. He was screaming in agony, rolling on the floor and was very agitated.
“Despite this it felt like nobody was really listening to us nor really understanding the seriousness of his condition.
“Even more than five years on it remains difficult to understand how Adam went into hospital and within a few hours he was gone.
“Adam was the most loving, caring and affectionate person. He was always happy and would go out of his way to help people. He didn’t deserve to die, especially in the avoidable way he did.
“One of the hardest things to come to terms with is how he never got to meet Alice-Rose. He was so excited to become a dad; it’s all he could talk about. I know he would have been the most amazing dad.
“While Alice-Rose will grow up without her dad, we’ll never forget Adam. I tell Alice-Rose every day how much her daddy would have loved her and how proud he would be.
“Nothing can make up for what’s happened and Adam’s death but my focus is now trying to raise as much awareness as possible as to what Adam went through so hopefully others don’t have to suffer like he did.”
Adam's Rose charity launched to support bereaved families
Following Adam’s death, Victoria as well as friends and family, set up the Adam’s Rose charity which aims to provide a support network for people experiencing the death of a loved one. The charity also provides gift bags to bereaved families to take their loves one’s belongings’ home from hospital.
Victoria added: “Not only did we lose someone special to us when Adam died, the world lost one of good guys who always put helping others in need and their happiness above his own.
“Support can’t undo what’s happened, but nobody should have to go through grief alone. The aim of the charity is to create communities of support that can grow together and be there for one another for support that only they can understand.”
More information on the charity can be found on its website.