4th Aug, 2020

Patient died after tumour was 'torn' from his brain during surgery

A BRAIN surgery patient at University Hospital Coventry died after a tumour was ‘torn’ out of his brain, an inquest has concluded.

The inquest into the death of Stephen Bridgman, 62, heard that the operation was negligently performed.

Mr Bridgman, a retired computer systems consultant from Redditch, died in October 2016 following a period of being in a comatose state with complications including fluid on the brain.

He had undergone surgery to remove a meningioma, a benign form of brain tumour, in September of that year – performed by consultant neurosurgeon Mr Hussien El–Maghraby.

At Coventry Coroner’s Court on Friday (July 3), an inquest heard that the complications arose due to the ‘negligent way in which the tumour was torn out of the brain in one piece rather than being carefully dissected’.

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, responsible for the acts or omissions of Mr El-Maghraby in terms of his employment in the NHS, has admitted that the operation was negligently performed and if the procedure had been performed correctly, Mr Bridgman would not have died.

Mr El-Maghraby disputes the admission of negligence and had attempted to defend his actions before the coroner.

However, the independent expert evidence obtained by the coroner included a report from an eminent neurosurgeon, which states that the only reason why a neurosurgeon would choose to remove a meningioma in the manner in which Mr El-Maghraby did, is “haste over following standard micro surgical procedures”.

He also states that the way that Mr El-Maghraby performed the operation carried a “foreseeable, almost entirely avoidable and unacceptable risk of causing vascular injury leading to the inevitable haemorrhage and death”.

Mr Bridgman’s widow Amanda Bridgman said: “The fact that Mr El–Maghraby appears to have no insight into his failings surely makes him an extremely dangerous individual.

“If he actually does understand how much death and disability he has caused and wants to continue in the same vein then surely he is deliberately harming patients.

“It is also concerning that the Trust appear not to have carried out a detailed statistical review of Mr El-Maghraby’s patient outcomes/rate of complications as recommended in the report prepared by the Royal College of Surgeons in January 2018.

“If this audit has not been done and any problems addressed then the Trust in my opinion has not done all in its power to prevent further deaths and disability, which would exacerbate my concern of avoidable complications/deaths.

“I do not want any other family to suffer like we have.”

Kashmir Uppal, medical negligence partner at Shoosmiths and the family’s solicitor, said: “To maintain patient safety in both the NHS and private sector, it is extremely important that doctors who do not have the requisite experience to carry out complex surgical procedures, are prevented from operating and that they acknowledge where further training and supervision is required.

“It is even more important that doctors who simply do not have the competence to carry out surgery are removed from both the NHS and private sector.

“We are now representing seven clients, including Judith Mills, who have suffered life changing injuries as a result of brain and spinal surgery performed by Mr El-Maghraby – and that is seven too many for no action to be taken to protect patients.”

Professor Kiran Patel of UHCW NHS Trust said: “We are committed to provide safe, high quality healthcare for our patients.

“The performance of our clinicians is monitored in a number of ways and in this case when concerns were raised, we sought several expert reviews and acted on their recommendations.

“Following the further specialist reviews to this case, the Trust has accepted liability and unreservedly apologises to the family of Stephen Bridgman.

“We also acknowledge communications could have been better with the family and have ensured that we have learned from this as organisation”.

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