Family’s fury as great-grandmother, 94, bled to death ‘alone at home’ after NHS staff refused to treat golf ball-sized varicose vein because she was ‘over 70’
- Cynthia Butcher was referred to A&E by GP who warned she needed operation
- Hospital was told that her varicose vein ‘may bleed catastrophically imminently’
- The 94-year-old was instead sent back home to be visited by a community nurse
- She called for help when lump burst but warden was not on duty at sheltered flat
A 94-year-old grandmother died after NHS medics sent her home because she was ‘too old’ for an operation on a varicose vein.
Cynthia Butcher, from Aveley in Essex, was referred by her GP to A&E with a note warning a golf-ball size lump on her leg ‘may bleed catastrophically imminently’.
But the great-grandmother was turned away from Basildon Hospital by doctors who said they could not perform the procedure because she was ‘over 70,’ reports The Mirror.
Mrs Butcher was sent back to her sheltered accommodation and called for help when the lump then burst – but paramedics could not get to her because a warden was not on duty at the time.
Cynthia Butcher, from Aveley in Essex, was turned away from Basildon Hospital by doctors who said they could not perform the procedure because she was ‘over 70’
Mrs Butcher, a widow, had four children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Mrs Butcher’s daughter Lynda Clements told The Mirror her mother was ‘the matriarch of a large dynasty’ and the family had been ‘blown apart’ by the tragedy.
She said: ‘My mother died alone in her flat waiting for help, desperately trying to stem the blood. She lost at least four pints.
‘Paramedics resuscitated her, but she had suffered massive brain damage.
‘She died in hospital where, this time, they did everything to keep her alive. This must have cost thousands yet all she originally needed was a minor operation. It would have taken 10 minutes to lance the lump under local anaesthetic.’
A spokesperson for Basildon Hospital said: ‘We offer sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Cynthia Butcher for their sad loss. The death of loved ones is a cause of great sadness in any circumstance.
‘We strive to provide the best level of care and treatment to all of our patients. Mrs Butcher was on a list for urgent elective surgery in June 2018 and attempts were made to get her onto an earlier weekend list.’
The spokesperson added Basildon, Southend and Mid-Essex hospitals are planning to become a new single NHS organisation in April 2020 with an emergency vascular surgery unit consolidated at Basildon, ‘which will mean better access for patients and more staff able to care for them.’