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A series of errors, including a spelling mistake in her name, lead to the avoidable death of 85-year-old Irmgard Cooper, an inquest heard.

The grandmother was undergoing an operation at Northwick Park Hospital when her blood supplies were sent back to the blood bank, resulting in a two-hour wait for the blood transfusion that would have saved her life.

North London Coroner’s court was told that her name had been spelt as ‘Irngard’ instead of ‘Irmgard’, which lead to the fatal delay.

In addition to the mix up with the blood supply, the surgeon performing the surgery was not told the blood was unavailable until after he had started the procedure, on May 7 2015.

The mother-of-two, who had three grandchildren, had undergone a serious but successful operation to her heart. It was only when the surgeon questioned the anaesthetist as to why he wasn’t giving extra blood supplies when needed that he was told none were available.

This mistake meant that Mrs Cooper lost all her blood whilst on the operating table. She would have survived if the blood supplies had been available in the theatre at that time.

The inquest found that Mrs Cooper’s death was avoidable and she had died from neglect.

Mrs Cooper’s daughter, Lorraine Booker said: “My father has suffered from nightmares over my mother’s death ever since. We just feel very let down and betrayed by the hospital for a death that should never have occurred.”

Northwick Park Hospital conducted a Serious Incident Investigation Report and found that Mrs Cooper died from serious blood clotting difficulties, cardio vascular collapse, haemorrhage, and that the delay in giving blood caused her death.

At this time the Trust has not provided a comment on this case.

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We mustn't let the financial costs of these claims blind us to the enormous human costs. These cases are completely avoidable and the government needs to focus on better patient safety to avoid errors in the first place. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51180944

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