Widow dies on operating table when surgeon tries to remove liver instead of her kidney
- Amy Francis underwent surgery for kidney cancer
- Trainee loses confidence during operation
- Liver ruptures causing death
- Hospital admits to error
Last updated at 8:06 PM on 12th January 2012
Amy Francis, 77, underwent keyhole surgery to remove a cancerous right kidney last July.
But during the operation at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, her liver ruptured as it was mistakenly pulled out and, despite desperate efforts to save her, she died of internal bleeding.
Consultant urologist Dr Adam Carter, admitted to the error and highlighted that as a result of the death, a modified operating procedure had been communicated 'worldwide'.
Her son Alan, 52, praised Dr Carter for his honesty and the hospital for 'owning up' early.
Following the hearing he said: 'We appreciated Mr Carter’s honesty and him coming along here today and hope that we can put it all behind us now.
'I think that it was the honesty that saved the hospital. If we thought that they had not answered our questions it would have been different.
'This was an honest mistake.'
Retired accountant, Mrs Francis, was diagnosed with kidney cancer and was due to be treated after she had recovered from the routine surgery.
But during the operation Dr Carter allowed a trainee, who had never performed the procedure before, to locate and remove the organ.
David Bowen, the coroner for Gwent, said: 'Whilst undergoing keyhole surgery for the necessary removal of the cancerous kidney, Mrs Francis’s liver was ruptured when it was mistakenly and unintentionally identified as the kidney and was catastrophically torn and damaged, resulting in death.'
Dr Carter said he had carried out the procedure 20 times since the death without a problem.
Son Alan said before the inquest finished: 'We accept the decision and we also accept that Mr Carter and his team acted in good faith to prolong my mother’s life.
'We also appreciated his honesty and wish him well for the future and hope he goes on to do other successful operations.'
Over the last 40 years, the number of cases of kidney cancer has doubled in men and risen by 130 per cent in women, a trend which is believed to be linked to rising obesity figures.
There were 3638 new cases diagnosed in men and 2118 new cases diagnosed in woman in England during 2007.