A RESIDENT at a nursing home near Mold died after a feeding tube was put into his lung instead of his stomach, an inquest was told.
A review of procedures was held at Glan Clwyd Hospital after the death of 74-year-old retired driver Glyn Jones but it was found that the correct steps had been taken and that nothing needed to change.
At an inquest in Prestatyn on Friday Mr Jones’s sister Lilian Cowen said she had no complaint to make against the hospital, a stance praised by John Gittins, acting coroner for North Wales Central.
“It’s a pleasure to meet people not wanting to blame anyone,” he said.
Mr Jones, who was originally from Caerwys, had been a resident at the Maes Mynan Nursing Home in Afonwen, near Mold, since 2009 but was admitted to hospital in October last year with a severe chest infection.Having suffered strokes in the past he had difficulty swallowing and a nasogastric tube was inserted to enable him to feed.
Mrs Cowen, from Trefnant, told the hearing he was uncomfortable with the tube and often tried to pull it out.
The coroner read statements from hospital staff describing how the tube was inserted on October 12 and the normal aspirate check for acidity, which confirms it has reached the stomach, proved positive.
Over the next 24 hours, however, Mr Jones’s condition deteriorated and an X-ray subsequently revealed the tube had actually entered his right lung, causing bleeding.
He died on October 24 and a post-mortem examination was carried out at the Countess of Chester Hospital by pathologist Dr William Kenyon, who found that the cause of death was pneumonia and bleeding into the lung, with his strokes a contributory factor.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Gittins said no criticism could be leveled at the hospital staff, including the sister who inserted the tube.
“They did what they thought was right and it remains a mystery why they got the reading which indicated that the tube was in the stomach,” he said.
He said that in his 14 years as a coroner he could not recall any similar case.