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Diabetic man dies at Queen’s Hospital after doctors ‘missed cardiac problems’

09:08 26 February 2014

Queen's Hospital, Romford

Queen's Hospital, Romford

Archant

A junior doctor at Queen’s Hospital failed to spot symptoms of a heart problem hours before a man went into cardiac arrest and died, an inquest as heard.

Ian Shaffer, 61, from Clayhall, was taken into hospital in February 2012 with an infected foot but died a week later.

Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard Mr Shaffer was first admitted to King George Hospital, in Goodmayes, on February 7.

The plan was for his case to be taken over by the diabetes team but he was not seen by senior medical staff for days.

After eventually being seen by a consultant, he was immediately transferred to Queen’s Hospital in Romford to see cardiac specialists for vascular surgery.

But he needed dialysis and the treatment was delayed for another day.

When he started wheezing, coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said a junior doctor missed the signs of cardiovascular disease and hours later he went into cardiac arrest.

Recording a narrative verdict, she said it was not possible to say if earlier treatment would have prevented his death, a national newspaper reported.

The cause of death was given as acute heart failure due to coronary artery atheroma, contributed to by diabetes, infection and renal failure.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Univserity Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) was put into special measures last year after a CQC report found multiple failings.

Chief executive, Averil Dongworth expressed her condolences to Mr Shaffer’s family and said staff were happy to meet with them.

She added: “The trust is now reflecting on the coroner’s findings to establish whether there are further lessons to be learned, over and above the changes that have already been implemented, that can improve the quality of care for all future patients.”

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