Hospital not at fault in woman's death

Last updated 05:00 01/08/2012

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The Otago-Southland coroner has found no fault by Southland Hospital after a 92-year-old woman died days after a feeding tube was inserted.

Mary Eveline May Lindsay, of Winton, died at the hospital on April 20 last year.

Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar said in his formal written findings that Mrs Lindsay died of sepsis and shock complicating peritonitis, the result of gastric leakage from a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), or feeding tube. Some of her family had raised concerns at an inquest as to care given at the hospital.

Mr Crerar said the evidence established there was a failure of the PEG but neither the hospital or any clinician failed in their obligations to care for Mrs Lindsay.

Mrs Lindsay and the family had been told of the high risk of any intervention, he said.

"All hospitalisations and all interventions and surgeries conduct by clinicians in a hospital carry with them some risk . . . the clinicians, involved with the care of Mary Lindsay, were between a rock and a hard place."

Mrs Lindsay had several health problems when she was admitted to hospital, which included pneumonia, congestive heart failure and chronic leg ulcers.

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