An error in treating a 38-year-old woman was not the main cause of her death, though cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor.
That is among the findings of an inquest into the death of Glasgow-born Paddi Lee, who died in hospital in 2006.
The Lisburn-based woman had attended Lagan Valley Hospital on April 25 that year, with symptoms of acidosis (higher-than-usual acidity in the body).
She then collapsed at the hostel where she lived shortly after being discharged, and was taken to Lagan Valley again – but by this stage was “very ill indeed”.
At one point a tube was inserted into her oesophagus, but incorrectly – although the coroner found it was “not a significant factor in her death”. The patient had aspirated, and while “this undoubtedly played a part in her death, it cannot be said whether this was as a result of her medical condition or the incorrect intubation”.
She was transferred to the Royal, and later died.
Her death was recorded as being from adult respiratory distress syndrome, due to cerebral hypoxia and severe metabolic acidosis “of unknown origin”.