Broken ribs mum died in Pilgrim

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A WESTON pensioner was sent home from a hospital accident and emergency department when an X-ray failed to detect injuries that proved fatal only four days later, an inquest heard.

Marjorie Genders (79), of Small Drove, was re-admitted the same day she was discharged from Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, but died in intensive care on September 28.

An inquest in Spalding heard Mrs Genders fractured four ribs when she fell and hit the fireplace at her home on September 21, but wouldn’t go to hospital straight away.

The pensioner’s daughter, Susan Smart, said her mother called her doctor, who didn’t attend and prescribed paracetamol. Her mum’s condition worsened and she went to hospital by ambulance on September 23.

Mrs Smart collected Mrs Genders the next morning but phoned an ambulance that teatime because her pain was worse and “she was holding her right side all of the time”.

Deputy Coroner Paul Cooper said a post mortem showed Mrs Genders died from chest trauma as a result of multiple rib fractures and her chest cavity filling with blood on the right side, a condition known as haemothorax. Non insulin dependent diabetes was a contributory factor.

The inquest heard evidence from a nursing manager, Alison George-Jones, who admitted teams handling Mrs Genders’ case had failed to keep proper notes and said systems had been tightened up as a result.

Evidence was given by senior doctors working in accident and emergency, the clinical decisions unit and intensive care.

Mr Cooper recorded a narrative verdict, saying it was not possible on the balance of probabilities to decide whether Mrs Genders would have survived had she been treated for her injuries at the time she was admitted to hospital.

Accident and emergency consultant Dr Ben Loryman said it was common for X-rays to miss fractured ribs and to miss a small amount of blood between the lung and the chest wall.

The inquest heard Mrs Genders deteriorated on the clinical decisions unit – where a water infection was diagnosed – but no further pictures of her chest were taken until she was transferred to intensive care the night before she died.

Some 800mls of blood were drained from her chest after 5am on September 28, but she died at lunchtime from multiple organ failure.

Intensive care consultant Dr Gurdip Samra said he believed Mrs Genders died from a combination of haemothorax and “a severe infection process”.