A 14 year old girl has died at Bristol Children’s Hospital after she underwent emergency surgery on a ward, an inquest has heard.

Emma Welch was admitted to hospital in June last year to correct a curvature of her spine. She suffered internal bleeding afterwards, for which she needed emergency surgery.

It was night-time when the complication was identified, meaning only two out of the hospital’s nine operating theatres were open.

Both of these were in use at the time, forcing doctors to perform surgery on the ward.

The ward had very dim lighting, so torches were used to provide enough light to work by. Sadly she lost blood very rapidly and died just hours later.

Now Emma’s family are calling for more operating theatres to stay open at night. Her grandfather, Anthony Close, said “unanswered questions still remain”.

At an inquest, Avon Coroner Maria Voisin concluded Emma had died “from the intended consequence of planned and necessary medical treatment.”

Bryony Strachan, clinical chair of women’s and children’s services at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Whilst any surgery or treatment carries risks, we do our utmost to ensure that we keep the children in our care safe.”

“As a hospital we will always review these rare circumstances, to make the treatment and the surgery we give as safe as possible.”

Negligent medical care

If you or your loved one has suffered negligent medical care, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

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