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Inquest to investigate death of Tamworth man lost in hospital system

Medical negligence inquest


An inquest is due to open today (9.30am Wednesday 10th May) into the death of 53-year-old assembly worker, Alan Rogers, who died from chronic infection and heart failure after a hospital mix-up led to him receiving no medical treatment for five days.

Birmingham Coroner, Aidan Cotter, is due to hear at Sutton Town Hall during the one day inquest that Mr Rogers from Tamworth, who worked for commercial vehicle manufacturers, LDV, was in good health until approximately three weeks prior to his death. In mid-November 2005, following a long bout of diarrhoea and abdominal pain, he made three visits to his GP surgery, the Aldergate Medical Practice in Salters Lane, Tamworth. It was only after his third visit to the surgery that the GP arranged for a blood test. By the time the result of the blood tests was received on 6th December, Mr Rogers was extremely poorly. He was bed-ridden and having suffered diarrhoea up to twelve times a day for three weeks, had lost more than 3 stones in weight.

He was admitted to Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield on the evening of 6th December 2005 and underwent further blood tests and an abdominal x-ray. Mr Rogers was put on a saline drip but during the course of the next five days he received little further medical intervention and hospital records show he was not prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

On 12th December 2006 a surgeon examined Mr Rogers and ordered an immediately sigmoidoscopy and enema. Shortly after this procedure Mr Rogers suffered a cardiac arrest and required resuscitation. As a result the surgical team decided to carry out an emergency laparotomy at which point they discovered Mr Rogers was suffering from massive septic shock.


Inquest into death from medical negligence

Sadly Mr Rogers died shortly afterwards and an interim death certificate revealed he had been suffering from faecal peritonitis, a perforated colon and fulminating colitis.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Rogers sister Lynne Rogers said: "Our family has been left completely devastated by Alan's sudden death.

"He was such a fit and healthy man who hardly had a days illness in his life. That's why its so frustrating that when he did become ill, none of the doctors seemed to take it very seriously. He hardly ever went to see a doctor. The fact that he went to the GP surgery three times in the space of three weeks should have rung alarm bells. The weight just dropped off him. He wasn't a big man and normally weighed around 9 or 10 stones. After three weeks of constant diarrhoea he weighed just 6 stones and looked dreadful.

"We thought once he was finally admitted to Good Hope Hospital that he would make a quick recovery and soon be back to his normal self. We have since been told that his initial symptoms were as a result of a simple case of food poisoning. We are all extremely angry that an illness which could have been treated so easily, was allowed to take the life of my brother."

The family's solicitor, Mandy Williams, from the Birmingham office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "This case is particularly shocking as it would appear that after Mr Rogers was admitted to Good Hope Hospital he became lost in the system.

"It seems the medical team thought that he was under the care of the surgeons whilst the surgical team state that they advised he needed to be managed by the medical team. As a consequence he failed to receive life saving medical intervention for five days during which time his condition, which was already very serious, became critical."

The family is also extremely anxious to find out why his GP practice took more than three weeks to refer Mr Rogers for hospital treatment given the chronic nature of his symptoms. It is not clear why during the course of three separate visits to the surgery, a stool sample was not taken, which would very quickly have confirmed the presence of food poisoning which could then have been treated.

Even given this three week delay in treatment, once Mr Rogers arrived at Good Hope Hospital, prompt medical treatment and antibiotics would in all likelihood have led to a successful outcome without the need for surgical intervention. Sadly Mr Rogers's condition was allowed to deteriorate still further and by the time he was examined by doctors on 12th December his body was too weak to overcome the effects of massive septic shock.

She added: "To add insult to injury it appears that whilst in hospital Mr Rogers's wallet was also stolen from his bedside and has never been recovered."

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