OAP needed emergency surgery after attempt to remove stuck stent

Daily Echo: Michael Gough Michael Gough

A RETIRED lorry driver who went to a Hampshire hospital for a routine heart procedure died a week later after an operation went wrong, an inquest heard.

Michael Gough suffered a minor heart attack at his home in Park Gate and was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Doctors opted to perform primary angioplasty and inserted three stents to widen two diseased arteries in the grandfather’s heart.

But one of the meshed tubes became stuck in the passage and the insertion wire snapped inside his heart when a doctor tried to remove it.

He died a week later despite emergency surgery at neighbouring Southampton General Hospital.

At a two-day hearing in Southampton the inquest heard how the 72-year-old, of Middle Road, who suffered from the muscle wasting condition Kennedy’s Disease and diabetes, was rushed to the Portsmouth hospital on July 24 last year.

One of his main arteries and a blood vessel branching from it were severely narrowed, the inquest heard.

Cardiologist Dr Ali Dana weighed up the choices of conducting angioplasty, heart bypass surgery or managing the condition with drugs.

He told the inquest he chose the first option because he feared drugs would not ease his problems sufficiently, while by-pass surgery would be risky due to the pensioner’s pre-existing conditions But he said the third stent got “completely stuck” after passing though the first stent, while the tube used to insert it fractured when he tried to pull it out.

He told the inquest it was an “infrequent” occurrence and said: “The whole team did what we believe was in his best interests.

“It was a very unfortunate and extremely rare complication of a routine procedure.”

A decision was made to transfer Mr Gough to Southampton General Hospital, which was hampered by the pensioner suffering a bleed.

Southampton cardiac surgeon Szabolcs Miskolczi performed an emergency bypass surgery as part of a seven hour operation to stabilise him. He removed the wire but was unable to dislodge the stent and pointed out a drain inserted by the Portsmouth hospital narrowly missed his liver.

The pensioner died later in hospital on August 2.

Daughter Zena, of Fareham, questioned whether he should have been sent to Southampton first as he lived on the border of both hospitals and asked what other options could have been taken.

Mr Miskolczi suggested that the pensioner could have lived for at least months or years if offered drugs. He also said that stenting the bigger artery could have been sufficient and told the inquest: “Leaving the other artery un-stented wouldn’t have made a significant disadvantage to Mr Gough.”

His other daughter, Janine, 37, from Birmingham, accused the Portsmouth hospital of failing to sufficiently liaise with them about his condition during the first operation.

She told the inquest: “I had to make the journey down from Birmingham not knowing whether he was alive or not.”

But Dr Ali said they were halfway through the procedure at the time and said: “The priority was Mr Gough.”

Pathologist Dr Adrian Bateman put the cause of death down to heart failure followed by Kennedy’s Disease and diabetes.

Queen Alexandra Hospital declined to comment until after the coroner had recorded his verdict.

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