Hospital procedures changed after death of teen

Tracy and Stan Foskett, pictured last year after the death of Victoria Harrison,17, who died after a routine operation at Kettering General Hospital.
Tracy and Stan Foskett, pictured last year after the death of Victoria Harrison,17, who died after a routine operation at Kettering General Hospital.

A hospital says it has changed procedures for caring for post-operative patients after the death of a teenager last year following an appendectomy operation.

Victoria Harrison, then aged 17, from Wellingborough, was found unresponsive in her hospital bed the morning after her operation on August 16 last year.

At her two-day inquest, which began today at the Best Western Hotel in Corby, staff from Kettering General Hospital said much more stringent post-operative checks are now being carried out in the wake of Victoria’s death.

The inquest today heard from the surgeon who carried out Victoria’s operation – Shady Hosny.

He said that during the procedure an artery in Victoria’s abdomen began bleeding and although he closed the wound Victoria lost somewhere between 200 and 400ml of blood – different medical staff had recorded different figures.

Victoria was later taken to the hospital’s Deene A Ward to recover, and nurses who checked her in the evening said she was chatting, using the toilet and had drunk water.

However, care assistant Debbie Sumpter discovered Victoria in an unresponsive state the following morning and the hospital’s arrest team was unable to revive her.

The inquest heard that although nurses had checked on Victoria and had spoken to her there was no regular procedure for checks and that because she had seemed alert and to be recovering normally, nurses had no concerns.

The primary nurse caring for Victoria, Helen Allen, said she had not been made aware that Victoria had lost blood during her operation and that if she had known she would not have let the teenager leave her bed.

Jacqueline Davis said that since Victoria’s death, an investigation had been carried out which had found 43 problem areas in the care of post-operative patients – with six of these being considered key matters.

She said these included better communication between the different medical teams, including accurate recordings of blood loss, and a much more stringent timetable of checks for post-operative patients so that they are seen every 30 minutes for two hours, then hourly for two hours when they are admitted to the ward.

After Victoria’s death last year, her mum Tracy Foskett and stepdad Stan Foskett paid tribute to her in the Telegraph.

They said: “She was such a lovely girl. Everyone called her their best friend. She was loved by so many people and she was so popular.”

Victoria, or Tor as she was better known to friends and family, was engaged to fiancee Ashley Warner and had ambitions to become a nail technician.

Her inquest is expected to be completed tomorrow (Tuesday).