Death of cancer surgery woman ‘accidental’

1:00pm Monday 3rd December 2012

A VERDICT of accidental death has been recorded after a woman died days after undergoing an operation to remove a tumour in her colon.

Barbara Sargison, 66, of Prestwick Burn, Didcot, died at the John Radcliffe Hospital on April 13.

An inquest heard last Tuesday that Ms Sargison, a divorced care assistant, had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon. She underwent an operation at the Churchill Hospital to remove the tumour on April 5 and was discharged four days later. After complaining of pain and breathing difficulties, she was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital on April 12. Emergency surgery revealed that the join in her colon where the tumour had been removed had ruptured and there was fecal contamination in her abdomen.

A statement from intensive care unit consultant Toby Thomas read at the inquest said: “She became increasingly unstable.

“There was evidence of ongoing contamination in her abdomen and by the afternoon of April 13, it was clear she had intractable multi-organ failure and she would not survive.”

Organ support was removed following discussions with her family, and she died within minutes of withdrawal of treatment.

Her partner, John Weal, called for risks of operations to be more clearly communicated.

Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter recorded the cause of death as acute peritonitis caused by colonic adenocarcinoma.


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