Twenty Two year old Kane Gorny battled numerous health problems. He had survived a brain tumour which left him with a tendency to be aggressive. He also suffered from a diabetic condition which also caused him to be aggressive and also to have an inability to conserve water.
His treatment for these conditions had included steroids. A known side effect of steroids is weakening of the bones. This led to him going into St. George’s Hospital in London for a hip replacement operation in May 2009. Apart from his complex medical history this should have been a straightforward operation.
During this admission he became aggressive and was sedated and placed in a side room. His fluid levels dropped causing him to develop a desperate thirst. He was not given the medication that he needed. At one point he became so desperate that he called the police. His cries for help were attributed to behavioural problems. Eventually the seriousness of his plight was noticed but it was too late and he died shortly afterwards of dehydration.
In other words he died of thirst in a UK hospital in 2009.
This is one of the worst cases of neglect that I have come across. And it led to strong words from a Coroner yesterday who said –
"Kane was undoubtedly let down by incompetence of staff, poor communication, lack of leadership, both medical and nursing, a culture of assumption."
The NHS Trust has apologised to his family.
This will surely lead to an indefensible claim for clinical negligence against the trust which says that it has admitted responsibility – they didn’t really have much choice.
I hope that Kane’s family get prompt and adequate justice for what he went through.
What is really frustrating is that we see cases like this happening on a regular basis there are still those who try and blame victims who sue hospitals for putting the NHS under pressure. If there was adequate care in the first place this would not be necessary.