Coney Weston: Medics did all they could to save pub landlord Peter Kingston, inquest hears

THE DEATH of a 63-year-old pub landlord was not caused by the removal of a drainage tube from his body by a hospital registrar, an inquest has heard.

At the inquest into the death of Peter Kingston, former landlord of the Swan Inn in Coney Weston, Coroner Dr Peter Dean found no evidence of any gross failure in the care he received at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Kingston, whose son James was at yesterday’s inquest, died at the hospital on December 16, 2008, a week after a tube to drain an abscess in the abdominal region had been removed.

His family had strong concerns that the removal led to his death, but Dr Dean said there was “no evidence whatsoever the removal of the drain in any way contributed to the death of Mr Kingston the week after”.

The landlord had suffered from a range of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease and emphysema, so with every decision medics made there were risks, as well as potential benefits, Dr Dean said.

The coroner’s verdict was that he had died from complications following a perforated diverticulum - a rupture in the abdominal region which was “likely to have proved the final event”.

Dr Dean said: “The family’s sense of grief is clearly very, very profound and we get a sense of that, but I cannot see any evidence of any gross failure to provide care here - the contrary. There is evidence of people trying to do what they can in very difficult circumstances.”

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He added: “It is difficult to think of anything else that could have been done for Mr Kingston at the time and clearly everything that could have been done was done.”

He added how the drainage tube was a “last-ditch battle” to save Mr Kingston given the range of serious problems he was suffering from.

He said consultant surgeon Neil Keeling and radiologist Dr Fiona Miller had persuaded colleagues the tube was the best course of action. But, after 48 hours it was no longer draining and Mr Kingston, who was in a great deal of pain, was asking for it to be removed.

Sarvi Banisadr, the hospital registrar who removed the tube, said: “The patient was in so much pain. It was quite compelling.”

Mr Kingston died on December 16 after being admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain on November 30.

Mr Keeling said: “I will apologise to Mr Kingston. We tried, but we didn’t do well enough.”

Pathologist Dr Ian Calder, who carried out the post-mortem examination, found the primary cause of death to be multiple organ failure due to underlying septicemia and pelvic abscess.

The inquest also heard how Mr Kingston’s family had experienced some issues at the hospital such as being restricted by visiting hours on the ward when they wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. Dr Dean asked medics to report this back.

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