December 8 2013 Latest news:
Robin de Peyer
Monday, September 2, 2013
A chef suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage after managers declined to reassign doctors from pulling out other patients’ rotting teeth.
Mark Venturi, 44, was admitted to Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital on the evening of Friday, April 15, 2011, having collapsed the night before from a ruptured aneurysm in the brain.
His speech was slurred and he could not stand – but the team of medical experts required to treat him was not made available during the weekend.
On duty doctors instead treated urgent – but not life-threatening – cases including the removal of decayed teeth and surgery for a broken ankle.
By the time resources were available to help Mr Venturi on Monday, he had become paralysed down one side of his body, and had developed a blood clot.
He died from the clot two weeks later on May 3, 2011.
Mr Venturi’s mother, Sandra, from Essex, said: “They were doing dental extractions. They put dental extractions before our son.
“That is absolutely disgusting. How can you take somebody’s tooth out in preference to saving somebody’s life?”
At an inquest into Mr Venturi’s death, the consultant neurosurgeon on call when he was admitted on the Friday said the other cases dealt with were all less urgent than his. He claimed to have asked for resources to be diverted, but said hospital chiefs declined.
Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, apologised for the failings which helped lead to the death.
A spokesman said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Venturi’s family and apologise once more for the failings in his care which were highlighted at the time by the internal investigation and subsequent inquest.
“An action plan was implemented following Mr Venturi’s death. The measures put in place now enable us to provide timely, effective and safe treatment of brain haemorrhages.”