Adrian Darbishire KC and Selva Ramasamy KC appear at Isle of Man inquest for doctors involved in death following surgery under general anaesthesia

Adrian Darbishire KC and Selva Ramasamy KC were instructed by the Medical Protection Society (through Weightman’s and Clyde and Co. respectively) to represent two anaesthetists in inquest proceedings on the Isle of Man.

Selva and Adrian were each granted a Temporary Advocate's Licence, permitting them to appear in the Courts of the Isle of Man for the purposes of this unusual and serious case.

In February 2021 a patient suffered a cardiac arrest following elective surgery on the Isle of Man.  The circumstances of the death were that, after uneventful surgery under general anaesthetic, the patient had struggled to breathe. The theatre alarm was activated, which caused three consultant anaesthetists to rush to theatre to assist. Efforts to reintubate and ventilate the patient were unsuccessful and within a few minutes of the consultants’ arrival the patient went into cardiac arrest and died later that morning. At post-mortem, the endo-tracheal tube was found in the patient’s oesophagus.

Adrian Darbishire KC and Selva Ramasamy KC were instructed to act in the inquest for two of the four attending anaesthetists, (all of whom had originally faced a charge of gross negligence manslaughter - Selva and Adrian acted in those proceedings as well, successfully arguing that there was no case to answer -  see here)

At the inquest, a central aspect was whether the endo-tracheal tube had been misplaced from the outset, and whether the anaesthetists had failed to identify that the tube was mis-sited. After an inquest spanning four weeks, and having heard from a number of expert witnesses, the Coroner returned a narrative verdict in which he concluded that he was unable to say on the balance of probabilities that the tube must have been misplaced from the outset, and that the legal test for neglect could not possibly be satisfied in the case.

For national press see HERE.

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