Inquest on man's death in the anaesthetic room at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to conclude next month

Graham Hargreaves (Photo: Third oarty)
Graham Hargreaves (Photo: Third oarty)

The hearing into the death of Graham Hargreaves, of Rossendale, had been expected to last two days but will now conclude with a third hearing on Friday September 8.

Mr Hargreaves had been admitted to the hospital to undergo the removal of his cancerous right lung on December 30, 2019 and seemed to be recovering well from the operation.

But days later he began to feel notably lethargic and it was found his blood pressure had dropped and there were worries about his white blood cell count.

Concerned about the possibility of a bleed or an infection, it was agreed that another operation – a video assisted thoracic procedure - be carried out on January 4 2020.

However, before this could be undertaken Mr Hargreaves was prepared for the procedure in the anaesthetics room, where he them suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

The inquest, led by Louise Rae, assistant coroner for Blackpool and Fylde, aims to establish if there had been a wrongly-fitted breathing tube applied in the anaesthetics room, and if that was a contributory factor in his death.

The inquest is being held in the coroner’s court at Blackpool Town Hall.

On the opening day of the hearing, the inquest heard that Dr Mark Sissons, the pathologist based at the hospital, had not been aware that there were concerns about a possible issue in the anaesthetics room just before Mr Hargreaves death.

Unaware of this at the time, Dr Sissons had recorded acute cardiac failure as the cause of death, noting that Mr Hargreaves had a combination of hypertension and degeneration of the mitral valve, which could combine to cause sudden death if the heart were put under extra strain.

The court also heard from Dr Manoj Purohit - consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who had carried out the removal of the lung.

Other witnesses called were anaesthetic nurse Makungu Kobo and anaesthetics trainee, Dr David Lindsay,

On the second day a key witness was Dr Noel Gavin, the consultant anaesthetist who was administering the intubation on January 4 2020.

The hearing will proceed on Friday September 8 with the summing up and coroner’s verdict.