Hospital admits negligence in death of St Albans father

Giovanni Ferrera with his grandchildren.

Giovanni Ferrera with his grandchildren. - Credit: Ferrera family

The family of a St Albans man who died after he was negligently prescribed medication that increased his risk of suffering from a stroke have pleaded for lessons to be learned.

The hospital trust responsible for the care of Giovanni Ferrera, 74, has admitted that it had failed in its duty.

Mr Ferrera had been taking anticoagulant medication Apixaban due to an abnormal heart rate but was taken off the medication in early 2016 after he had a stroke.

He was admitted to Hammersmith Hospital for heart surgery in August 2016, but the discovery of a clot meant that that the operation could not be carried out and no further dates were scheduled.

Giovanni Ferrera with members of his family.

Giovanni Ferrera with members of his family. - Credit: Ferrera family

He was again prescribed the blood thinning medication Apixaban, despite evidence suggesting the tablets were linked to an increased risk of a stroke.

In July 2017 My Ferrera passed away from a bleed on the brain caused by a stroke, leaving behind his wife Cristina and four children.

The family instructed law firm Simpson Millar to investigate the care that he had received at the hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

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The trust has confirmed a breach of care in the advice relating to Mr Ferrera’s risk of having another stroke, and the resumption of anticoagulation contributed to the deterioration of his condition.

His daughter Rosanna Cioffi said: “The whole family is devastated by what has happened. The death of my father has left a huge hole in all of our lives.

“To learn that more could and should have been done to save him is heart-breaking.

“While the trust has now admitted that there were failures in his care, there seems to be little remorse about the way he was treated and the way that we as a family have been treated throughout this ordeal has been horrific. My father worked tirelessly for the NHS for many years, yet when he needed them most he was let down.

“Nothing will ever make up for what we have lost, or what we have been through to reach this point.

“My message to anyone who finds themselves in a situation such as ours is to challenge what is being said. Ask questions, and for a second opinion if you feel it is needed. It could potentially save someone’s life.”