NHS: Cambridgeshire dad-to-be died after hospital delayed hernia treatment

Baby Alice-Rose Adam Hurst with a photo of her father, Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)Baby Alice-Rose Adam Hurst with a photo of her father, Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)
Baby Alice-Rose Adam Hurst with a photo of her father, Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS) | Irwin Mitchell/SWNS
Despite rushing to hospital, Adam Hurst's treatment was delayed.

A hospital trust has apologised after admitting to failing a dad-to-be died when they delayed his treatment for a rare type of hernia.

Adam Hurst, 31, was admitted to the Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, after he was rolling on the floor from severe stomach pain. But instead of being admitted to the 'major' department of A&E, he was actually assessed in the 'minor' area which took him 50 minutes to be seen.

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The builder was also meant to have a CT scan, but was delayed by nearly an hour because of a fire alarm in the hospital's radiology department.

The dad-to-be eventually underwent a scan which highlighted an undetected congenital diaphragmatic hernia and fluid in his stomach. Adam then arrived on a surgical award ahead of a planned pre-operative assessment but suffered from a cardiac arrest at around 11.40pm.

He died less than an hour later on December 8, 2018.

An internal incident report by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust discovered if Adam had surgery before his cardiac arrest, he would have survived.

Wife Victoria, 35, says even though Adam died five years ago, she finds it 'difficult' to understand how he 'went into hospital and within a few hours he was gone.'

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She said: "Adam was in absolute agony and I knew I had to get him to hospital as soon as I could. Even at hospital his pain continued.

"He was screaming in agony, rolling on the floor and was very agitated. Despite this it felt like nobody was really listening to us nor really understanding the seriousness of his condition.

"Even more than five years on it remains difficult to understand how Adam went into hospital and within a few hours he was gone."

Alice-Rose Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)Alice-Rose Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)
Alice-Rose Adam Hurst. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS) | Irwin Mitchell / SWNS

Victoria was 25 weeks pregnant with the couple's first child when Adam died and she gave birth to their daughter Alice-Rose Adam Hurst in February 2019. She's now said 'one of the hardest things' about what happened is that the youth football coach never got to meet his daughter.

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"Adam was the most loving, caring and affectionate person," Victoria said. "He was always happy and would go out of his way to help people. He didn’t deserve to die, especially in the avoidable way he did.

"One of the hardest things to come to terms with is how he never got to meet Alice-Rose. He was so excited to become a dad; it’s all he could talk about.

"I know he would have been the most amazing dad. While Alice-Rose will grow up without her dad, we’ll never forget Adam.

"I tell Alice-Rose every day how much her daddy would have loved her and how proud he would be.

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Following Adam's death, Victoria set up the Adam Rose charity which aims to provide a support network for people experiencing the death of a loved one. The charity also provides gift bags to bereaved families to take their loves one’s belongings’ home from hospital.

Victoria Hurst set up Adam's Rose after her partner's death in hospital. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)Victoria Hurst set up Adam's Rose after her partner's death in hospital. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS)
Victoria Hurst set up Adam's Rose after her partner's death in hospital. (Picture: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS) | Irwin Mitchell / SWNS

Victoria said: "Not only did we lose someone special to us when Adam died, the world lost one of good guys who always put helping others in need and their happiness above his own. Support can’t undo what’s happened, but nobody should have to go through grief alone.

"The aim of the charity is to create communities of support that can grow together and be there for one another for support that only they can understand."

Amie Minns, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, think 'it's now vital' that 'lessons are learned to improve patient safety.'

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She said: “Victoria and the rest of Adam’s family remain devastated by his death and the circumstances surrounding it. The care failings that Adam experienced ended in the most devastating way and will continue to affect his family for the rest of their lives.

"While we welcome the trust’s admissions and apology, it’s now vital that lessons are learned to improve patient safety."

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