Surgeon charged over death of patient

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A hospital consultant has been charged with manslaughter over the death of a 16-year-old patient who died on the operating table.

Devon and Cornwall police said Ken Woodburn, 39, a surgeon with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals' Trust, had been charged after an investigation into the death of Kelly Dent, from Redruth in Cornwall.

The teenager died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, Truro, while a tube was being fitted near her heart so chemotherapy drugs could be administered more easily during prolonged treatment for leukaemia.

Yesterday the trust confirmed that Mr Woodburn had been suspended, having been charged with manslaughter.

In a statement the trust said the charge was in connection with the death of a 16-year-old patient during surgery on 2 September 1998.

The statement said: "The independent inquiry, which we proposed to investigate the circumstances of this case, will be kept on hold until the completion of the judicial process. The trust will continue to co- operate fully with the police to facilitate their enquiries.

"Colleagues in the surgical directorate are endeavouring to cover Mr Woodburn's caseload to keep the impact on patients to a minimum."