Rachel Johnston died 17 days after surgery to remove her severely decayed teeth. Following the surgery, which was performed as a day case under general anaesthetic, Rachel was discharged to Pirton Grange Care home. The hospital believed she would be monitored by trained and registered nurses. The nurses recorded no physiological checks and, over 40 hours after she arrived at the care home, she remained asleep and showed no signs of awareness. During this time she had aspirated and become brain damaged. The inquest concluded that neglect contributed to her death as the care home nurses failed to spot signs of developing hypoxia. The coroner stated that if her condition had been properly monitored and she been re-admitted to hospital she would not have suffered brain damage or died.
Lizanne Gumbel QC, instructed by Caron Heyes, Fieldfisher, represented the family.
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