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Tributes to sister who died at West Middlesex Hospital
A brother has paid tribute to his sister, who he branded a real fighter, and the hospital that cared for her, following an inquest into her death last week.
Susan Lenton, from Twickenham, died of natural causes in West Middlesex Hospital on May 28, 2012, it was concluded at West London Corner’s Court on Thursday, January 17.
Following the case, Mrs Lenton's brother, Harry Jones, said: “She was wonderful. She was the typical older sister - she would always introduce me as her little brother, even though I am now in my 50s.
“She was very protective, a real fighter - she was definitely a fighter - she fought her way through seven operations.
“The care she had at West Mid through four operations was excellent, so I certainly have no complaints.”
Mr Jones said that Mrs Lenton's husband David had died of liver failure in December 2012.
Dr Olaf Buedrzycki, who carried out the postmortem examination of Mrs Lenton’s body, said he found irregularities with her spleen, common with signs of sepsis, scars to the abdomen, and signs of problems with her kidneys.
He said, after looking at a report from Dr Helen Burgess, the medical consultant on call at the hospital when Mrs Lenton was admitted on May 26, he was satisfied that there was “evidence of a probable sort of infection in the urine”.
He added that a urine infection can harm the body very quickly.
Dr Burgess said Mrs Lenton was confused when she first arrived and was complaining of pain in her abdomen - above her kidneys. She became more aware of her surroundings after being in hospital, but died on May 28.
In response to whether any more could have been done for Mrs Lenton, Dr Burgess said: “My view, looking back, is that she had a severe urinary infection, and I think she was on appropriate treatment of that. The infection would put someone at risk of sudden death.”
Mrs Lenton had type two diabetes, which caused kidney problems and blindness, plus she had been to a London hospital prior to her death for treatment to a blood clot in her lungs.
However, deputy director of nursing at West Middlesex Hospital, Susan Dawes, said she had anxieties over the quality of record keeping from nurses.
She said: “The nurses had observed Mrs Lenton, but just not recorded appropriately.”
She said training for recording on the observation chart was due to take place soon and that members of staff involved had been spoken to.
Coroner, Dr Sean Cummings, said in this instance West Middlesex Hospital had made some mistakes but Mrs Lenton’s death was not down to the hospital care.
He said: “The verdict is one of natural causes.
“I think we are faced with lots of [inquests where hospitals are to blame] but I think everything medical was done correctly.”
The medical verdict of death was acute chronic renal failure, sepsis, ascending urinary trace infection and diabetes melaitus.