Dad left disabled after feeding tube was inserted into his lungs at Romford hospital
PUBLISHED: 07:26 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:29 22 January 2020
A dad who was left permanently disabled after a hospital wrongly flushed food into his lungs has called for lessons to be learned from his case.
Michael Moy, 58, had a feeding tube inserted into his lung instead of his stomach at Queen's Hospital, Romford, after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour in October 2014. The error left him with permanent lung disease and a shortened life expectancy.
Michael was awarded an undisclosed settlement by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) at the end of last year and an admission of liability for the incident, which the NHS classified as a "never event" - a serious, largely preventable incident that should never occur.
Richard Kayser, medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Michael said: "Never events are classed as such because they should not happen but sadly we continue to see the effects they have on patients.
"What happened to Michael has had a profound effect on him and his family. It would have been easily avoided if the hospital had carried out basic checks to establish the position of the tube."
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A root cause analysis report by BHRUT found that tubes were not checked prior to food being given to Michael after his procedure, which led him to cough up blood and he was diagnosed with emphysema and bronchiectasis.
Kathryn Halford, chief nurse and deputy chief executive for BHRUT, said: "We are extremely sorry that we did not live up to our own high standard of care in this case, and apologise to Michael and his family.
"We would like to reassure them that we have learned lessons to ensure it does not happen again. This includes introducing a new policy on use of feeding tubes, which ensures that these are always checked by a senior nurse."
Michael said he hopes telling his story can prevent this from happening in the future.
He said: "I appreciate that doctors and nurses face an incredibly difficult job but it's unacceptable that so many never events are still happening. It seems like many of these could be avoided by a few simple checks."
The NHS recorded 277 never events from April 1 to October 31 2019, with two incidents of a foreign object being retained following a procedure occuring at BHRUT during that period.