Birmingham & Black Country

Sandwell Hospital life support death probe finds no clinical care errors

An inquiry launched after a husband switched off his wife's life support machine and then discovered she was alive three days later has found no mistakes in clinical care.

Malcolm Greenhill said he was told by Sandwell Hospital staff his wife Marilyn had just minutes left to live.

But she continued to breath unaided.

Hospital bosses have refused to reveal the full findings of their inquiry but said "estimating periods of death should always be avoided".

They have apologised for "mistakes made in communication."

'Update training'

Mrs Greenhill, from West Bromwich, was admitted to Sandwell Hospital after falling down the stairs and suffering a bleed on the brain on 3 May.

The life support machine was turned off but her family discovered she was still alive when they rang the hospital to organise the funeral.

They returned to her bedside but she died on 7 May.

A Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust spokeswoman said they had decided not to reveal the full extent of their investigation at the request of Mrs Greenhill's relatives.

Speaking about the conclusions of the probe, a statement said: "In this instance, more could have been done over the bank holiday weekend to maintain contact with Mrs Greenhill's family."

It added: "We are working with staff to update our training and documentation, given lessons from this situation."

An inquest is due to be concluded in the next few weeks.

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