The wife of an entertainer from the Skegness area has made an official complaint to Lincoln County Hospital after her husband was minutes away from a heart operation only to be told his condition ‘could have been treated with medication’.
Dawn Hunter said she and her 51-year-old husband, Stephen, who suffers depression, arrived at the hospital at 7.15am on Tuesday, June 20, for an operation to remove her husband’s Loop Recorder and fit a pacemaker.
However, on checking his notes, she said the surgeon told them he ‘was not happy to implant a pacemaker because the reading for the Loop Monitor and symptoms did not warrant it and should have been treated with medications’.
Lincoln County Hospital has said it is sorry to hear of ‘Mr and Mrs Hunter’s concerns’ and will be investigating the complaint, but is unable at this time to comment further because of ‘patient confidentiality’.
The couple now say they want a second opinion and full overall of Mr Hunter’s medical case to reassure them he is now having the correct treatment.
Mrs Hunter said: “All the trust and confidence has been destroyed and we do not know who to believe now.
”I would like an urgent second opinion of my husband’s condition and full overall of his medical case.
”Over many years at least total four different cardiologist have overseen the care of my husband and none of them have ever mentioned the possibility or existence of medication to help treat vaso vagal (blackout) episodes – and neither have any of his GPs.”
Mr Hunter was fitted with a loop 18 months ago to monitor his condition as he has an enlarged aorta and had been suffering blackouts.
“We were in shock when the surgeon said the operation was not necessary,” said Mrs Hunter. “Why was this not identified at the pre-operative assessment before the patient was prepped and just about ready for surgery, fasted, shaved, undressed, wrist banded and in a gown with a cannula in situ and the nurse having to stop administrating antibiotics?”
In addition to the stress of the operation not taking place and cancelling a holiday, Mr Hunter said he has lost six weeks pay.
Sat in his Wainfleet Bank home, he told the Standard: “I’ve lost all of my confidence. I’m thankful the surgeon checked the notes but why do you have to get to the point of having an operation to be told you don’t need it.
“I just want to get on with life and do what 51-year-olds should be doing.”
Dr Neill Hepburn, medical director at Lincoln County Hospital said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Hunter’s concerns.
“Due to patient confidentiality we cannot discuss individual patient cases.
“We will of course investigate the complaint and talk to Mr and Mrs Hunter directly as soon as possible.”