Coroner criticises Royal Free hospital after patient injected with insulin overdose

PUBLISHED: 16:15 15 March 2018

A coroner has criticised the Royal Free hospital after a patient was injected with ten times the required amount of insulin during an operation. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

A coroner has criticised the Royal Free hospital after a patient was injected with ten times the required amount of insulin during an operation. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A coroner has criticised the Royal Free Hospital after a medic injected a pensioner with an overdose of insulin during an operation.

Patrick Moran, 70, was admitted to the hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, on July 27 last year suffering from pain in one of his legs, gangrene on his toes and a narrowing of his blood vessels.

Mr Moran, a bachelor who lived in Mornington Crescent, was taken into an operating theatre where doctors widened arteries his lower back.

During the operation, he had to be administered with an insulin-dextrose infusion after potassium levels in his blood rose to above normal levels.

But an anaesthetist used the wrong syringe and injected Mr Moran with 100 units of insulin instead of 10.

St Pancras assistant coroner Jacqueline Devonish has issued a prevention of future deaths report following Mr Moran’s inquest.

The report reveals that instead of an insulin syringe the medic used a normal one millilitre variety.

It adds that the use of that type of syringe was “common practice” within the hospital’s anaesthetic department even though the NHS had issued a warning about the possibililty of misuse in June 2010.

In a second criticism, the report notes the Royal Free Hospital removed diabetes training for staff as a compulsory requirement.

It says: “As a result there is currently no mandatory training provided to doctors within the Trust to advise them of use of insulin specific devices when drawing up and administering insulin,” the report states.

The hospital is also slammed for not having a process in place to ensure it is up to date with NHS public health messages and patient safety alerts.

“There is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken,” Ms Devonish states.

Mr Moran, who was in the building trade, initially made a good recovery after the op but his lower left leg later had to be amputated. His lower right leg then deteriorated, but it was decided “further interventions would be futile.” The coroner’s verdict attributed the death to natural causes.

Expressing condolences to Mr Moran’s family. a spokeswoman for the Royal Free said: “We always look to learn from any death in our hospitals and have responded with an action plan to address the concerns raised.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 14:00

We talk to hundreds of local business owners every day; we hear their concerns, understand their challenges and share in their successes.

Yesterday, 13:56

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West has criticised “shortsighted” plans to close Muswell Hill’s Royal Mail delivery office, while locals say the plans are “very concerning”.

Yesterday, 10:48

As the 1960s drew to a close a group of Camden women were in the vanguard of the fight for gender equality. Sam Volpe spoke to members of the Belsize Lane Women’s Liberation Workshop about their remarkable deeds.

Fri, 17:39

The killers of Camden model Harry Uzoka have been jailed for a combined total of more than 60 years.

Fri, 14:33

High Court judge Sir Ross Cranston, who last week blocked Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to begin building the CS11 cycle superhighway in Swiss Cottage, has denied TfL permission to appeal his judicial review ruling.

Fri, 12:40

Seven months to the day after a single winter night saw two young men stabbed to death, Camden’s youth safety task force – led by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer and Cllr Abdul Hai – last night recommended a series of measures to arrest the alarming upwards trend in youth violence in the borough.

Thu, 17:30

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now