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Settlement For Family Of Woman Who Died After Routine Surgery

Mother-Of-Two Passed Away Weeks After Knee Replacement Operation

04.05.2017

The family of a retired florist who died following routine knee replacement surgery three years ago have revealed hopes that lessons have been learned after lawyers helped them secure a settlement in relation to their concerns regarding her care.

Judith Parker, from Shirley, died aged 67 at the end of October 2014, weeks after medical experts at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham chose to proceed with surgery despite her concerns regarding a cough and cold she was suffering from.

The mother-of-two’s condition deteriorated in the 24 hours following the surgery and eventually she was placed in a coma and taken to ITU at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she later died.

An inquest held in April 2015 recorded a narrative conclusion, with her cause of death noted as multi-organ failure, pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism and recent knee replacement surgery.

Judith’s family instructed Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team to investigate whether her surgery should have been postponed. The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital denied liability for the case but agreed to settle Judith’s claim out of court for an undisclosed five-figure sum.

Expert Opinion
“It has been an incredibly difficult few years for Judith’s family and they remain devastated by her death, as well as the circumstances around it.

“While the inquest provided some answers, the family continued to hold concerns regarding whether more should have been done to prevent her death – and particularly if her surgery should have been postponed.

“Nothing will change what has happened, but we hope that this settlement is an important step towards helping them come to terms with their loss.”
Mark Cawley, Associate

Prior to her surgery on October 7th 2014, Judith was suffering from a cold and cough. She was advised to see her GP, who suggested she again speak to the hospital regarding whether the surgery should go ahead.

The surgery went ahead as planned, but within 24 hours she was transferred to a High Dependency Unit. Her condition worsened and she was then placed in a coma and moved to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. By October 29th 2014, her condition had not improved so treatment was withdrawn and she passed away.

Judith’s husband Brian said: “Judith was a much-loved wife and mother and we all still miss her every day.

“We remain devastated that we lost her following what was meant to be routine surgery and while nothing will change what has happened, we just hope that lessons have been learned from what Judith went through and no one else goes through the same again.”