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Post lap-band patient death 'preventable'

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016 By Marnie Banger

Dozens of alarms went ignored by medical staff who could have prevented the death of an Adelaide man recovering from lap band surgery, the state coroner says.

Andrea Lambropoulos, 34, had a heart attack at Ashford Private Hospital in November 2013 after his oxygen dropped too low while recovering from the surgery, during which his liver and spleen bled.

An inquest into his death heard nurses did not properly respond to most of 33 alarms from a machine tracking his oxygen levels as they believed the machine's readings to be inaccurate.

State Coroner Mark Johns said expert advice had shown the high dependency unit nurses could have easily determined whether the readings were correct or not by checking a "wave form" on the machine's monitor.

In his findings on Wednesday, Mr Johns said the hospital's general manager had questioned the accuracy of data provided for the inquest as it seemed inconceivable that so many alarms could have gone unanswered.

However the manager described the incident as "unforgivable", Mr Johns said.

Mr Johns has recommended nurses across South Australia receive refresher training in using the oxygen machine in question to ensure low readings aren't wrongly assumed to be errors.

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