Medical procedures tend to be terrifying all on their own. After all, even under perfect conditions, bad things can happen due to an unknown condition or sensitivity to a medication. However, when doctors completely botch their jobs, it does nothing to make the already scary less horrifying. From the BBC:
Mrs Hopper said staff told her there had been a complication, but it was not until three days after the operation that the family were informed an error had been made.
She said: “We were told that putting the heart valve on the wrong way had caused her heart to balloon up and expand, and when it contracted the wall of her heart was pierced on an instrument.
“We still haven’t come to terms with what happened. It has been traumatic.”
The trust has admitted full breach of duty and that the error which caused Mrs Hynes’ death was the insertion of the heart valve the wrong way.
Hynes died a week after the operation, never regaining consciousness after what should have been a fairly routine procedure was screwed up royally.
One would think there would be multiple checks to prevent something which could have such catastrophic repercussions—like putting in a valve upside-down—from happening. Though if those checks exist, medical personnel must have simply gone through the motions.
No mention was made as to whether the UK’s single payer healthcare system played any factor, but I’m sure it didn’t help. However, mistakes happen in every country, regardless of who is footing the bill.
For those who are now even more reluctant to get medical treatment after a story like this, please bear in mind that if what happened to Hyne was the norm, it wouldn’t be news. Instead, its unusual nature is actually a bizarre testament to how safe the procedure usually is.
Still, that’s small consolation to Hynes’ family, who had every reason to expect her to fully recover. Instead, they’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.