Doctors pulled out rotten teeth instead of helping brain injury man

Doctors pulled out rotten teeth instead of helping brain injury man


Despite calls from consultant neurosurgeon Dr Roger Hunter for doctors to be diverted from their scheduled weekend list to help treat 44-year-old Mark Venturi after he had collapsed, no doctors were made available. This led to a four day delay over the weekend, causing Mr Venturi to develop a lethal blood clot which he later died from.


The doctors had been brought in over the weekend to deal with urgent and semi-urgent cases, and were paid overtime to deal with them at the Royal London Hospital in east London. Cases included removing decayed teeth and operating on a broken ankle.


Dr Hunter said none of the cases on the scheduled list were as urgent as Mr Venturi but managers refused to divert resources.An inquest found the delay was likely to have contributed to Mr Venturi’s death.

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?

Mr Venturi collapsed at home on April 14, 2011 and was admitted to hospital the next day, having suffered a ruptured aneurysm in the brain. The medical team he needed – a brain surgeon, radiologist and anaesthetist – were not made available from Friday night until Monday.

By this time foour days had past and he had become paralysed down one side of his body and developed a blood clot, which he died from two weeks later in May 2011.

Dr Hunter told the Sunday Times: “It all stems from him not having urgent treatment of his brain haemorrhage by people who had the capacity to treat him but who were obstructed from doing so by management practices."He said managers refused his request to divert the list and said staff could not be interrupted.

Barts Health, which manages the hospital, apologised for failings in Mr Venturi’s care and said: “It is not unusual for trusts to set aside additional funding to clear patient backlogs. These were emergency and trauma patients who were in hospital urgently awaiting treatment and had been scheduled to an out-of-hours list due to earlier delays."



By Claire Carter


The Telegraph, 2nd September, 2013







View this article