Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Inquiry into finger operation death opens

Victoria Infirmary sign
Mr Ewing died during the operation at the Victoria Infirmary in 2006

A man died during a routine operation on his pinkie finger, a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

Gordon Ewing, 44, from Cambuslang, suffered a cardiac arrest while being treated at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow in May 2006.

A pathologist told the hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court the death was "intrinsically linked" to lung puncture which happened during his operation.

Mr Ewing's cousin Duncan Taylor said his death "should not have happened".

The FAI heard that the 44-year-old initially broke his finger while playing with his son.

He was treated at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, but the injury did not set properly and he required a further operation.

The petrol station owner then went to the Victoria Infirmary in May 2006.

His family are devastated. His younger son still asks where he is
Duncan Taylor
Victim's cousin

After being given a drug to relax the muscles, Mr Ewing began to show signs of swelling and it was initially felt he had suffered an adverse reaction.

Both lungs eventually collapsed and, despite efforts to revive him, the father-of-two died in the hospital's anaesthetic room.

Pathologist Dr Robert Ainsworth, who carried out a post-mortem examination on Mr Ewing, told the hearing the death was "intrinsically linked" to a puncture of a lung while being treated.

Dr Ainsworth said there was nothing to suggest there were signs of disease in any of the other major organs.

'Family man'

Mr Ewing's cousin Mr Taylor told the inquiry the death had had a "traumatic effect" on the family.

The 59 year-old accountant said: "The fact is that it should not have happened at all. His family are devastated. His younger son still asks where he is."

Mr Taylor added: "He was an avid family man. He was very family orientated. He took delight in interacting with them as he was very outgoing."

The hearing, before Sheriff Linda Ruxton, continues.



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