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Death of 47-year-old baffles doctors

Date published: 25 July 2014

MYSTERY surrounds the death of a previously healthy 47-year-old Failsworth woman.

Helen Warburton, of Kew Road, had been fit and active before she was taken to the Royal Oldham Hospital in December, 2012, suffering with colitis —inflammation of the colon — an inquest in Heywood heard yesterday.

She had low blood pressure, was in constant and severe pain and underwent a colectomy on December 19. There was some improvement in her condition but she was still in pain.

Mrs Warburton’s condition continued to be monitored and she was doing “reasonably well” by December 30, the hearing was told.

However by January 2 she had shown a marked deterioration and required further surgery for a herniated bowel.

Pathologist Dr Alan Padwell, who carried out the post-mortem examination on January 10 last year, said Mrs Warburton ultimately died of bronchial pneumonia and had gone into septic shock after the operation, which caused her heart to stop at 1.10am on January 4.

Speaking at the inquest, Dr Saad Salman, who treated Mrs Warburton, expressed his regret over what had happened but said he would not have done anything differently looking back.

He said: “She was reviewed on a regular basis. The operation was necessary to avoid certain death.

“I am puzzled and mystified by the death, I have never come across anything like this before.”

Louise Hynes, Mrs Warburton’s daughter, expressed concerns over the treatment her mother received in hospital. But coroner Simon Nelson said: “I can see no signs of neglect. Mrs Warburton died of a rare but recognised complication from necessary surgical intervention.”
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