A mother of two died when a surgeon punctured her abdomen during weight loss surgery in Turkey.
Emma Morrissey, 44, suffered a “massive hemorrhage” on the operating table at Termessos Hospital in Antalya in July last year.
The private hospital tried to claim that the mother died of “natural causes” – and not due to a surgeon’s error.
An inquest as Cheshire Coroner’s Court heard Regenesis Travel, which arranged Emma’s operation, had failed to carry out checks to ensure she was suitable.
Emma didn’t meet the NHS criteria for a gastric sleeve and so traveled to Turkey to have the procedure done at a catch-up price.
However, she died on July 8, 2022 from internal bleeding after a surgeon perforated her abdomen with an instrument.
Chief coroner for Cheshire, Jacqueline Devonish, said: “The health tourism company Regenesis UK relied on patients’ self-declaration of their health.”
“They did not carry out any independent research to ensure Emma was suitable for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure before arranging surgery for her.
“The series of health-related pre-assessment questions asked before referral to the private hospital in Turkey was unclear.
“There was no evidence of a standard form prepared by a medically trained source that referring staff could refer to.
“The questions did not include questions about family history of illnesses such as heart disease, which were relevant to Emma.”
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Ms Devonish added: “There was no evidence of an investigation into the death on the operating table by the Ministry of Health in Turkey, the private Termessos Hospital or Regenesis UK.”
“This occurred despite Regenesis being informed that the death was caused by the surgeon during the operation.”
“The cause of death reported in Turkey was natural.
“Under the circumstances of massive abdominal bleeding after insertion of the instrument, death is considered unnatural.
“Prior to the inquest there was evidence that three incisions had been made in the abdomen, two of which were made with a sharp instrument.
“The embalming process for repatriation from Turkey to the UK was inadequate – Emma’s body was at risk of infection during transport.”
“This posed a decomposition risk as well as a health risk to the professionals who received her body in the UK.”
Speaking to travel company Regenesis, Ms Devonish said: “In my opinion, measures should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such measures.”
The company is now obliged to respond by October 30th.
On its website, Regenesis claims to “provide quality healthcare at affordable costs to a broader segment of the population and expand quality care beyond national borders through medical tourism.”
It continues: “We provide all flights, 24-hour transportation service, interpreter service and accommodations to provide our patients with the utmost comfort and care.”