Pensioner bled to death in hospital because of spelling mistake

A woman died in hospital after a spelling mistake led to a shortage of blood supplies.

Irmgard Cooper, 85, successfully underwent surgery to repair a bulge in her main artery at Harrow’s Northwick Park hospital when her blood pressure started to drop.


Ordinarily she would have been given replacement blood, but all the blood supplies had been returned to the blood bank because her name was spelled, incorrectly, as ‘Irngard.’

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Mrs Cooper’s daughter Lorraine Cooper found her mother ‘lying in a pool of blood, which was running off the bed’ in intensive care. Mrs Cooper died not long after.


Barnet coroner Andrew Walker found that Mrs Cooper’s death was avoidable, and there were gross shortcomings in the hospital’s failure to provide blood when they knew supplies would be needed.

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‘We just feel very let down and betrayed by the hospital for a death that should never have occurred,’ said Lorraine.


Renu Daly, from the medical negligence firm Hudgell Solicitors, said: ‘This catalogue of errors demonstrates an enormous breach of care and has had a devastating effect on her frail elderly husband, children, and grandchildren.’


London North West Healthcare, which runs the hospital, admitted liability.