A RETIRED sales director died following complications associated with bowel surgery, an inquest heard.

Walter Burd, 72, died on December 4 last year following surgery in Bradford Royal Infirmary for a fistula which was attached to his lower bowel and which erupted on his stomach.

The inquest in Bradford heard yesterday that Mr Burd, a father-of-three, of Leonard Street, Wyke, had been suffering ill health since 2001 when diverticulitis had been diagnosed and he had undergone a number of abdominal surgery procedures, including two hernia operations.

One of these operations, which required a mesh implant, had become infected with MRSA. He also suffered recurrent bladder infections.

His surgeon John Griffith said a minor operation in August 2016 to clean a wound on his abdomen discovered the fistula and Mr Burd was kept in hospital for three months on medication to allow the fistula to heal naturally.

“It was hoped the fistula would dry up but it was found that the mesh had eroded into the bowel causing the fistula,” Mr Griffith said.

Following consultation with the family it was decided to operate to repair the fistula and this was carried out on December 1.

Mr Burd appeared well for the first 12 hours but then his health deteriorated and he was moved from Ward 21 to intensive care.

A CT scan showed no abnormalities but a further operation revealed a 2mm perforation in a healthy part of the bowel caused by “needle strike”.

Mr Griffith said this had occurred as the bowel was being sutured and was a rare occurrence. This perforation was repaired but Mr Burd’s organs had already started to fail.

“In my 19 years at the hospital this has never happened to me before,” he said.

Mr Griffiths said post-operative complications were not immediately obvious, it was unlikely that early intervention would have made any difference.

Jane Marran, divisional head of nursing, carried out an internal investigation and found that while there were some gaps in medical and nursing notes, there was no evidence to say medical protocol had not been taken and that Mr Burd had been given the appropriate care.

In a narrative verdict, Assistant Coroner Kirsty Gomersal said she “was satisfied that while not intervening earlier following Mr Burd's  deterioration were incorrect decisions - made by a whole team of medical staff at the time - the decisions were not wrong given the circumstances”.

“Mr Burd died from peritonitis caused by a bowl perforation on December 1, caused by elective fistula surgery in August 2016,” she added.

Miss Gomersal asked for assurance that Mr Burd’s case will be used in future training of medical staff.