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Senior Coroner for North London requests investigation into interventional radiology services at Barnet Hospital

Posted: 21/09/2016

A pre-inquest review hearing was held on 20 September 2016 regarding the death of 53 year old Koula Christou from Enfield, who died on 27 January 2016 at Barnet Hospital. Andrew Walker, HM Senior Coroner for North London, requested an investigation into the provision of interventional radiology services at Barnet Hospital, ruling that the enhanced investigative duty under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights was engaged. This will allow an investigation not only into how the deceased died but also in what circumstances.

Koula Christou had spent nearly four weeks as an inpatient at Barnet Hospital before she suffered a gastrointestinal bleed on 26 January 2016. At 9.49am on 27 January 2016 medical staff decided that Ms Christou required an endoscopy but she was last on the list for that day. The endoscopy which took place at 3.45pm confirmed that she was actively bleeding.

Following the endoscopy, the medical staff recommended that Ms Christou undergo an angiogram under the interventional radiology team. However, as there was no provision for such services at Barnet Hospital after 5pm, a decision was made to transfer Ms Christou to another hospital. Ms Christou suffered a cardiac arrest at around 7.30pm while waiting for the transfer. It was not until 9.15pm that a decision was made to take Ms Christou to theatre. Unfortunately, her life could not be saved and she passed away at 11.07 pm.

HM Senior Coroner will also investigate whether the surgical team at Barnet Hospital could have been involved earlier in the day on 27 January 2016 to perform life-saving treatment.

The inquest will take place on 31 October 2016 for four days before HM Senior Coroner for North London at Barnet Coroner’s Court.

Penningtons Manches is instructed for the deceased’s family at the inquest. The family will also be represented by Edward Ramsay of 12 Kings Bench Walk Chambers, London.

Emily Palmer, a clinical negligence solicitor acting on behalf of the family, said: “This is a deeply distressing and upsetting case for the family. It is hoped that the family’s questions regarding Koula’s sad death will be answered during the coronial process and help them to come to terms with their loss.”

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