Rare surgery complication led to a Stourbridge woman's death

A STOURBRIDGE woman died due to a rare complication during surgery, an inquest heard.

Diane Weston, aged 73, of Windsor Road, had elected to have spinal surgery to eliminate pain caused by a trapped nerve and protruding disc.

The inquest, at Sandwell Coroners Court heard that Mrs Weston died as the result of a massive abdominal bleed, caused by a ruptured coeliac artery.

Panos Spinos, who carried out the surgery at West Midlands Hospital, Halesowen, on January 21, said that the first two hours of the procedure were "uneventful".

He continued: "I was about to start closing up in another 10-15 minutes when I was notified by the anaesthetist that Mrs Weston's carbon dioxide levels had dropped and surgery should stop immediately.

"Until then I had no concerns, I could see no signs of abdominal bleeding."

Mr Spinos said the possibility of a blood clot was discussed and continued: "I packed the wound and the patient was turned over and we started the resuscitation process straight away."

He told the inquest that medication was given to treat the suspected clot but attempts to resuscitate Mrs Weston were unsuccessful.

Senior coroner for the Black Country, Robin Balmain, said: "It was felt there were good clinical indications that it was likely to be an embolism.

"Doing nothing was not an option, although it turned out not to be an embolism but a massive bleed. Medication given to treat a suspected embolism only made the situation worse but we can't judge this with the benefit of hindsight, there was no sign of a massive bleed, which appears to have been caused by a spontaneous rupture of the coeliac artery, which was not in the best condition."

Mr Balmain said Mrs Weston's death was due to a rare complication of elective surgery procedure.

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