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Norfolk: Inquest hears how woman died 48 hours after varicose veins operation

Nicola Tweedy.

An inquest's been hearing how a classroom assistant from Norfolk died 48 hours after undergoing an operation for varicose veins.

54-year-old Nicola Tweedy from Pulham Market near Norwich suffered a pulmonary embolism as a result of the surgery.

Her family claim medical staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital failed to recognise that because of her obesity she was at risk of her blood clotting.

Her husband Chris told the inquest he didn't think she was fit to be discharged from hospital after the operation on March 27 last year.

She was slurring her speech. He was adamant that no advice was given to them about deep vein thrombosis.

Two days later, her son Alex found her lifeless in a chair.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate her but it was too late.

Robert Brightwell, a consultant vascular surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, said that Mrs Tweedy was warned about the risks of surgery; that it can lead to deep vein thrombosis which can cause an embolism.

One in 10,000 cases are fatal. He couldn't recall whether she'd been told her obesity made her more of a risk.

Mr Brightwell admitted there had been two attempts to carry out a thrombosis risk assessment on Mrs Tweedy but it wasn't completed.

Mrs Tweedy's husband said she'd wanted Mr Brightwell to carry out the operation because she liked him and trusted him.

Instead it was carried out by his assistant, although Mr Brightwell was present for most of the surgery, which lasted more than an hour.

Nurse Susan Brown accepted it was an oversight on her part that a checklist hadn't been completed on the patient's discharge notes.

Professor Gerard Stansby from Newcastle Hospital carried out an independent report following Mrs Tweedy's death.

In a statement, he said more training was required at the Norfolk and Norwich to prevent the idea that monitoring for deep vein thrombosis is just a tick box exercise.

The inquest continues.

Inquest into varicose vein surgery death

Nicola Tweedy died after varicose vein surgery. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An inquest is due to be held today into the death of a woman from Norfolk following varicose vein surgery.

Nicola Tweedy, who was 54, died two days after the operation at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Local MP Richard Bacon says the hospital did not follow guidelines on dealing with patients at risk of blood clotting.


Cambridge research suggests pregnant women should be given incentives to quit smoking

Women who smoke during pregnancy should be given financial incentives like shopping vouchers to help them quit, according to research from Cambridge University.

The research has been carried out by Cambridge University Credit: PA Images

The study suggests that one in five women would benefit from incentives, especially in socially deprived areas.

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