Mum-of-two died following surgery

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A MUM-of-two who suffered complications after an operation might have lived if doctors had acted more quickly, her family claims.

Tracy Hall, 38, died of multi-organ failure on May 12 2009 at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield after undergoing surgery.

Leeds Coroner’s Court heard that Mrs Hall, of Fairfield Court, Castleford, suffered from Crohn’s disease, which causes the chronic inflammation of the digestive system, and was anxious to be operated upon.

She had surgery on April 28 to repair scarring to her abdomen but it did not heal properly, and she spent several days in hospital as medics investigated the problem.

At an earlier hearing, a medical expert said doctors could have acted quicker by carrying out blood tests to help diagnose her condition, Friday’s inquest heard. This could have backed up a scan which showed she was suffering from internal bleeding and that further surgery was needed.

Mrs Hall’s mother, Carol Harris, said the family was devastated by her death. She said after the hearing: “To discover more could have been done to save her is heartbreaking and I don’t think I, or the rest of her family, will ever get over it.”

Anna Bosley, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell, representing Ms Harris, said: “The family desperately needed answers as they believed more could have been done in Tracy’s care.”

Mrs Hall had surgery in 2008 where it was discovered she needed a colostomy bag. On April 28, 2009, she was admitted to Pinderfields to allow doctors to reverse the procedure and to carry out reconstructive surgery.

Over the next few days she did not heal well and was taken into surgery to investigate the wound.

Her abdominal wound split on May 4 and she was again taken back to surgery. Doctors found no evidence of septicaemia or bleeding and she was admitted to the high dependency ward.

A day later, blood results showed abnormalities and she was given a transfusion. A scan showed internal bleeding and she was taken back to theatre. No signs of septicaemia were discovered and she was admitted to intensive care. During the next few days her condition deteriorated and she died on May 12.

Prof Tim Hendra, medical director at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We would like to offer our condolences to Mrs Hall’s family for their sad loss.

“Mrs Hall’s condition was complex. Following her death we carried out a thorough investigation into her care to learn lessons and make improvements. We will use the findings of the inquest to determine if there are further improvements that need to be made.”

Assistant deputy coroner Mary Burke recorded a narrative verdict saying Mrs Hall died due to multi-organ failure caused by septicaemia, or blood poisoning and small bowel death.