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Inquest opens into tragic death of mother of three

Hospital negligence claim



An inquest is due to open today (10.00 am 23rd January 2006) into the death of 46-year-old, mother of three, Angela Harding, who died on 2nd September 2005 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as a result of peritonitis caused by leakage around her feeding tube.

Shrewsbury coroner, Mr Penhale-Ellery, is due to hear that Mrs Harding, a housewife from Welshpool, Powys was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2004. During an operation to remove this in October 2004 she suffered a severe stroke and as a result required a PEG feed tube into her stomach.

After some months of rehabilitation she was discharged home. Mrs Harding subsequently suffered severe abdominal pain and horrendous diarrhoea and her husband was finding it increasingly difficult to administer her feed and medication via the PEG tube. He voiced his concerns to various doctors and nurses.

It was not until the 31st August 2005 that doctors realised that the PEG tube had become dislodged so that the feed and medication was not entering her stomach but instead the cavity surrounding it. It was this cavity that became infected. Mrs Harding underwent a surgical procedure on 1st September 2005 to allow an operation on the PEG tube site but she sadly died the following day on 2nd September 2005. No operation to rectify the dislodged PEG tube took place.

Martin Harding, Angela's husband says: "My wife experienced terrible pain and discomfort in her final months. My family and myself hope this inquest will answer many of our unanswered questions, in particular, why was the problem not detected sooner despite being regularly seen by various doctors and nurses."

Hospital negligence claim solicitor

The family's solicitor dealing with the hospital negligence claim, Claire Williams from national law firm Irwin Mitchell says: "Mrs Harding's family are extremely anxious to find out why the problem with the PEG feed tube was not picked up sooner by the many doctors and nurses who tended to her. Mrs Harding was then admitted to hospital in severe pain yet the problem was still not detected, despite an abdominal x-ray having been taken at Welshpool Hospital the day before. Although Angela was unwell from her original surgery, her condition was maintainable. We are concerned that the events leading to her death were avoidable and may have ultimately caused her death."

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