‘Brilliant’ Indian-origin doctor died after botched procedure, UK inquest finds

08:30 PM May 31, 2024 | PTI |

London: An Indian-origin doctor referred to as “brilliant” in his field died after being subjected to a medical procedure that was botched and also without a chance for him to give his informed consent to it, a UK coroner has concluded at the end of an inquest dating back over two years.


Professor Amit Patel was a Manchester-based National Health Service (NHS) Consultant Haematologist and a member of the haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) National Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT).

In August 2021, the 43-year-old was admitted to hospital in the city with suspected HLH himself and died weeks later in October. The inquest was opened and adjourned for the Coroner to hear evidence from the experts involved in his care and family members, which took place in April-May this year and concluded this week.

“The deceased underwent an EBUS [endobronchial ultrasound] procedure on 2nd September 2021 following a recommendation by the national HLH MDT. This recommendation was based on an incomplete presentation of the deceased’s clinical case, and therefore should never have been made,” notes the Manchester Coroner’s ruling released on Thursday.

“Had the national HLH MDT had all relevant and readily available information presented to them, the EBUS procedure would not have gone ahead on 2nd September 2021, and the deceased would not have died on 28th October 2021. Moreover, the deceased was not given the opportunity to (and therefore did not) provide informed consent on 2nd September 2021 for his EBUS procedure. These two factors more than minimally contributed to the deceased’s death on the balance of probabilities,” it concludes.


The Coroner took special note of the “mutual love” between Patel and all those who knew him being palpable in court throughout the inquest proceedings. The inquest heard how Patel was aware of the life-threatening nature of HLH – an immune reaction – and warned his wife, general practitioner Shivani Tanna, that he feared he might die.

“Professor Patel was described as an amazing human being. Whilst his educational and professional achievements will (rightly) be highlighted on his Curriculum Vitae, I am sure it is his achievements as a husband and father that shine brightest for those who love him,” the Coroner notes in his report.

“He was clearly a brilliant man whose legacy will go beyond his academic and professional achievements. I hope in time that the memories you have all shared altogether will shine brightly beyond the period of time that has been subject to my investigations,” it adds.

Coroner Zak Golombek also found that being an expert in the field himself, Professor Patel – a father of two – was not treated like an ordinary patient.

“In spite of his undoubted wealth of medical knowledge, he was primarily a husband and a father, and was not given the opportunity to consider the procedure itself, and its effects on his clinical course,” his reports notes.

“Professor Patel’s death was caused by failures in his care, and thus his death was avoidable,” it concludes.

The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said it has undertaken a detailed investigation thoroughly examining the care Patel received while in hospital.

“We are committed to providing the best care possible for our patients and we must apply the lessons learned from this to our constant work to improve our patients’ safety, quality of care, and experience,” said Jane Eddleston, joint group chief medical officer for the trust.


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