By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 20 March 2013 Updated: 20/03 14:35
THE DEATH of a prisoner at HMP Hewell could have been avoided, a jury has ruled.
An inquest heard Kyal Gaffney died from a brain haemorrhage after doctors failed to diagnose he had acute myeloid leukaemia.
The 22-year-old died at the Alexandra Hospital on November 9, 2011 after being transferred there from the Tardebigge prison.
The jury concluded on Friday (March 15) had further intervention occurred it was more likely than not the haemorrhage could have been avoided.
Mr Gaffney, originally from Coventry, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after a car accident in Leamington which left him disabled and one of his best friends dead. Just eight days after he arrived at the prison in October 2011, he was turned away by a doctor as he did not have an appointment.
Over the next fortnight he saw two doctors, the first of whom thought he had a chest infection and the second of which diagnosed oral thrush and ordered blood tests which which not considered to be urgent.
When those tests were carried out on November 7, they showed his blood was severely abnormal and he was rushed to hospital but the haemorrhage occurred shortly after.
The jury heard had the blood tests been carried out on October 31 or urgently on November 5, he probably would have survived.
Mr Gaffney's mother Mary Currie said: "There was a catalogue of errors at the prison, not only in relation to Kyal's medical care but his disability.
"The jury's verdict confirmed what we had always known, that despite our best efforts to alert the prison to Kyal's deteriorating health, there were missed opportunities.
"Our family feels vindicated by the jury's verdict but devastated that Kyal's death could have been prevented. We felt powerless watching him decline whilst at HMP Hewell. We can only hope that lessons are learned and no other family has to endure this heartbreak."
A spokesman for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which provides healthcare at the prison, said: “The Trust offers its condolences to Mr Gaffney’s family and is keen to learn any lessons from this tragic case.
"The Trust was present throughout the inquest and heard all the evidence and will ensure that it will take steps to implement any actions in response to the lessons learnt."
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