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Man dies in hospital after defibrillator set at incorrect level

Posted in: Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

At a hearing that took place in Ruthin on Tuesday, a panel heard that 78-year-old John Rogers lost his life in March of last year due to a defibrillator being set at the wrong power level. Mr Rogers, from Denbigh, died in a coronary care ward in the Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan. The event triggered a serious case review by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which runs the hospital. Mr Rogers’ daughter, Melissa, told the inquest on the first day that she and her mother had been requested to meet a heart consultant at the hospital following her father’s death. They were informed by the specialist that Mr Rogers had been treated with a defibrillator set at two joules – it should have been set to power level 150 joules.

Poorly trained nurses

The inquest also learned that one of the nurses present at the time of Mr Rogers’ heart attack did not have current advanced life-support training. It was revealed that another nurse present had noticed that the machine was set at the wrong power setting and had changed the setting after initial attempts to revive Mr Rogers failed.

Giving evidence at the inquest, cardiac consultant Christopher Bellamy told how he had been informed of the failure the day after Mr Rogers’ death. When asked why there was a delay in being informed, Mr Bellamy responded: “Why wasn’t it revealed? I don’t know”. Mr Bellamy then informed the coroner of his concerns surrounding the failure, and a post-mortem was carried out. It revealed that Mr Rogers had died of a heart attack following his collapse in the specialist ward.

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