Family fury as woman dies of organ failure after going to hospital for knee operation

A woman who went to A&E with a fractured knee died eight days later after she was apparently given her the wrong medication.
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Linda Allan, 59, was admitted to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife after a fall at home last year. Her surgery went smoothly, but during recovery she was given powerful anti-inflammatory drugs – despite her taking medication to treat a previously diagnosed stomach ulcer.

An internal review from NHS Fife is understood to have confirmed a catalogue of mistakes that contributed to her death with a fatal accident inquiry now lined up for later in the year.

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Her daughter Sharon Adams, 38, said: “As far as we are concerned, every person that came into contact with our mum failed her.

Ms Allan in hospital the day before the operation.Ms Allan in hospital the day before the operation.
Ms Allan in hospital the day before the operation.

“Those people should be held accountable and wider lessons need to be learned to improve gaps in NHS processes so this doesn’t happen again and we really hope the FAI will achieve this.”

Mrs Allan from Kirkcaldy was admitted to Ward 33 at Victoria Hospital after attending A&E on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 and underwent surgery two days later.

The surgery to her knee was a success but complications started to appear over the next 48 hours. On Saturday, she complained of stomach pains which doctors wrote off as constipation due to morphine.

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By Sunday, she was then suffering pain so severe she couldn’t even respond to her daughter’s texts.

Linda Allan's family said they are devastated at her loss.Linda Allan's family said they are devastated at her loss.
Linda Allan's family said they are devastated at her loss.

Despite the complications, hospital staff continued with the post-surgery schedule and later the same day moved her to a discharge ward in preparation for returning home.

But within hours her deteriorated and suffered a cardiac arrest resulting in a swift transfer to intensive care. It emerged her stomach ulcer burst and was bleeding into her bowel which in turn sparked multiple organ failure.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 8 but full proceedings are not expected to take place until later in the year.

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A spokesperson for NHS Fife said: “NHS Fife is unable to comment on the detail of this case due to existing legal proceedings, and initiation of a Fatal Accident Inquiry. We do, however, wish to extend our sincerest condolences to the family involved.”

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