A pensioner died after a junior doctor gave her a penicillin-based drug despite being told she was allergic to the antibiotic, an inquest heard yesterday.
Lillian Tucker was taken to Mid Staffordshire General Hospital, in Stafford, on October 8 last year, after suffering a fall while on a family holiday.
Her family are now taking legal action against Mid Staffordshire General Hospital NHS Trust after Staffordshire c oroner Andrew Haigh returned a narrative verdict of accidental death, which showed the hospital had made several errors.
Doctors discovered the active 72-year-old grand-mother had a small fracture in her pelvis so decided to keep her in overnight, but she never left the hospital, and died on October 21.
Mrs Tucker had a heart attack and, as a result of being starved of oxygen, was left with severe brain damage as she had an anaphylactic reaction due to receiving medication she was allergic to.
The medicine was prescribed by Dr Kevin Owens, a second year SHO who had worked in A&E at Mid Staffordshire General for a year.
The inquest, at Cannock Coroner's Court, heard of a catalogue of paperwork errors as Mrs Tucker was transferred from the A&E department to the ward.
Her son, Dave Tucker, said: "When we left the hospital at 9.30pm she seemed fine but no sooner had we got back home, we got a call to go back as mum had reacted badly to a drug."
Mr Tucker arrived back on the ward to see his mother, who was known as Jean, being "hooked up to tubes and pumped full of oxygen."
The 50-year-old former editor was taken to a relatives' room, where hospital staff said his mother had been given an injection, which had caused a bad reaction. Initially doctors claimed Mrs Tucker had not been given penicillin, but later admitted she had been given a "penicillin-based drug."
Patients with drug allergies are meant to have red wristbands so doctors and nurses do not give them drugs which can have fatal consequences. The former civil servant, who worked as a clerical assistant at Winson Green and Featherstone prisons, discovered her allergy in 1996, after a GP gave her penicillin for an infection.
"We had all told the doctor about my mother's allergy, he'd even written it down, but he was quite dismissive, it sounded as if he was trying to brush it under the carpet. He wanted to write it off as 'one of those things'," said Mr Tucker.
"They've robbed my kids of the chance to grow up with their grandmother's love and they've robbed me of a mother. We're a very close family.
"I didn't even get a chance to sit with her and say goodbye, they robbed me of that as well. I would've liked to be there rather than just walk in and see her body. I am particularly concerned that the doctor who wrongly administered the drug appears to have continued to work at the hospital and was not suspended whilst the inquiry was going on.
"In its letter of apology to us, the hospital claims it has learned valuable lessons but the day after mum died we heard on the news about another similar case at the same hospital which had happened some years earlier.
"I'm very upset and angry that they do not appear to have learned any lessons, or my mother might still be with us today."
Jonathan Peacock, a partner at Birmingham law firm Irwin Mitchell, who represented the family, said: "The trust have already admitted that they were negligent and a civil case is going ahead as a result, which we hope will be resolved swiftly."
A hospital spokeswoman said: "The trust has conducted a thorough review of procedures and has taken steps to ensure processes are reviewed and changed."