Hayling grandmother bled to death after hospital spelt her name wrong

A GRANDMOTHER bled to death after a blood mix-up during an operation caused by her name being spelt wrong.

Irmgard Cooper
Irmgard Cooper

Irmgard Cooper, of Lyndhurst Close, Hayling Island, died in hospital after the error meant that blood intended for her during a heart operation was sent back.

The blunder happened at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, north-west London.

Mrs Cooper had been ill and gone for treatment in London as her daughter lives there.

An inquest at North London coroner’s court heard Mrs Cooper’s name had been misspelt as Irngard.

It meant blood supplies put on hold for her were sent back to the bank.

This resulted in a two-hour wait for the arrival of replacement supplies, by which time the pensioner had died on the operating table on May 7 last year.

The surgeon had not been told that, because of the mix-up, the blood supplies would be unavailable during the operation.

He did not find out until he was carrying out the surgery, the inquest heard.

Mrs Cooper, originally from Germany, had been married to her husband Raymond for 62 years and had the 
operation to repair a large bulge in the main artery to her heart.

Coroner Andrew Walker found gross failings in 
the effort to provide blood and found she died from neglect.

A serious incident investigation report by the hospital found the delay in giving blood caused the death of the pensioner.

The coroner recorded a narrative verdict.

Jacqueline Docherty, chief executive of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, said: ‘I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Irmgard Cooper and say how sorry I am for what happened.

‘We accept the coroner’s verdict and prior to the inquest the trust carried 
out an internal investigation to learn from what went wrong.’

The family was not available to speak yesterday, but a neighbour paid tribute to Mrs Cooper, who was laid to rest at Havant Crematorium.

The service heard she was ‘forever young at heart’.

Neighbour and friend Norma Cann, 87, said: ‘She was a lovely lady. We got on very well. I miss her.’