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  • Christopher Collinson: Prevention of future deaths report (26 October 2021)

    • UK
    • Reports and articles
    • Pre-existing
    • Public domain
    • No
    • Rebecca Ollivere
    • 26/10/21
    • Everyone


    Christopher Collinson was admitted to the Medical Assessment Unit at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital with suspected deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

    He was admitted at 1.28pm on 14 June 2021, but was not seen by a Doctor until 9.33pm. He was later prescribed a prophylactic dose of Enoxaparin, rather than the therapeutic dose which the doctor had intended to prescribe. He collapsed at 11.00pm suffering a cardiac arrest and could not be revived. He died at 2.14am on 15 June 2021.


    In her report, the coroner highlights two matters of concern in this case:

    Initial delay in seeing a doctor

    Mr Collinson was not seen by a Doctor until eight hours after he arrived at hospital. The reason given for this was that the department was highly pressured on this date, and although a junior doctor had assigned the case to them by "clicking", that doctor had not in fact been able to see Mr Collinson. He did not "unclick" the patient and therefore other doctors who may have had capacity were not aware that Mr Collinson had not been seen.

    The coroner expressed concerns that that the current system for allocating patients requires a manual check to see whether a patient has actually been seen once they have been allocated. She noted that if they are not seen, there is currently no way of other clinicians being aware of that, and therefore patients could be left for long periods of time without being assessed.

    Flaws in the electronic prescribing system process

    The doctor who saw Mr Collinson prescribed a prophylactic dose of Enoxaparin rather than the therapeutic dose which she had intended to prescribe. The reason for this was that the electronic prescribing system involves a drop-down box with confusing tables to select the medication. The doctor was under pressure due to the busy department and accepted that this was human error, having accidently selected the wrong medication.

    The coroner stated that the current electronic prescribing system does not require a doctor to perform a secondary check to ensure that they have selected the correct medication. She expressed concerns that it is easy to select the wrong medication, particularly when the department is busy and doctors are under pressure. She suggests that this could lead to further fatal outcomes for patients if they are given incorrect medication. 

    This report was sent to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

    Christopher Collinson: Prevention of future deaths report (26 October 2021) https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/christopher-collinson-prevention-of-future-deaths-report/
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