Inquest told of hospital’s drug error

A DRUG administration error at Scarborough Hospital did not contribute to a patient’s death, an inquest has heard.

Peter Batty, 75, of Hackness Road, died in hospital on March 24 after suffering a deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot.

The inquest, held yesterday at Scarborough County Court, heard how Mr Batty had first been to see his GP on February 3 complaining of leg and shoulder pains.

He saw Dr Paul Robinson, who suspected an inflammatory condition called polymyalgia rheumatica and began treatment with steroids.

Blood tests also showed up a problem with Mr Batty’s prostate, so he was referred to the urology department at Scarborough Hospital.

Dr Robinson saw his patient a week later and Mr Batty told him he was feeling better and felt like he could “run a hundred yards”.

During a consultation on February 21, Dr Robinson noticed Mr Batty had a slightly swollen right calf, but did not have any tenderness.

A week later Mr Batty came back in complaining of aches in his legs and back. An X-ray showed some degeneration of the lumbar spine, but subsequent chest X-rays came back normal.

Dr Robinson said: “He seemed better. He was a very chatty, pleasant guy and I was happy we were on the right track.”

But it was later found that, despite clear liver function test results, Mr Batty had advanced cancer in his liver and prostate.

He was admitted to Scarborough Hospital March 20 with a blood clot, but this stage the cancer was unknown.

Mr Batty was being given clexane, an anticoagulant, and when his notes were checked on March 22, it was seen that two doses had been missed.

He was given one that night and an incident form was filled in. However, Mr Batty died on March 24.

A post mortem confirmed he had cancer and had died of a blood clot, which had been in process for “days or weeks”.