Grandmother Dies After Feeding Tube Inserted Into Her Lungs

A grandmother died after a feeding tube was negligently left in her lungs, an Inquest heard on January 8th.

Adriana Georgiou, 84, passed away on December 15th, 11 days after being admitted to hospital, Poplar Coroners Court heard.

Nurse Veronica Dadzie told the inquest that a test indicated Ms Georgiou’s PH levels were abnormally high, suggesting there was a problem with the feeding tube’s position.

She said that Dr Kari Saastamoinen, a Finnish consultant, performed a whoosh test instead, despite that this test had been the subject of three different alerts that called for the use of this test to cease immediately, and with using this test as a standalone assessment for the position of a feeding tube breached health and safety guidelines.

As a result, the feeding tube went into Ms Georgiou’s lungs – a so-called ‘never event’ in the NHS – which caused her to develop fatal pneumonia.

Senior Coroner Mary Elizabeth Hassell recorded a narrative verdict, saying that while she believed the feeding tube’s misplacement caused Ms Georgiou’s death, she could not be certain this was the case, which prevented her from describing the death as an unlawful killing.

She blamed “individual error” for the misplacement of the feeding tube but did not say Dr Saastamoinen had committed “gross negligence”, saying she did not think his behaviour was “so bad it was criminal”.

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