Leigh Robbins death: NHS trust sorry after blood sample mix up

Leigh Robbins Image copyright Robbins family
Image caption Leigh Robbins died three months after an operation at Oxford's Churchill Hospital

An NHS trust has apologised to the family of a man who died after a blood sample mix-up led to him receiving an infected pancreas in a transplant.

Leigh Robbins, from Sleaford, died aged 53 in March 2016 almost three months after the operation at Oxford's Churchill Hospital.

An inquest found he died from complications of an infection he developed because of the procedure.

Mr Robbins's widow Rebecca said lessons had to be learned from the mistake.

Dr Tony Berendt, medical director of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, apologised for the circumstances leading up to her husband's death.

He added: "Since then we have looked very carefully at our processes and we have made several significant changes to our procedures."


Assistant Coroner for Oxfordshire Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp recorded a narrative verdict at the end of the three-day inquest at Oxford Coroner's Court.

She said Mr Robbins died after contracting cytomegalovirus (CMV), an infection present in the pancreas he received that was not detected because two blood samples were mixed up.

Consultant microbiologist Professor Robert Masterton said if the infection had been detected the transplant could have gone ahead with anti-viral drugs and Mr Robbins would have survived.

Mrs Robbins, 37, said: "It is devastating to know that, if things had been done differently, Leigh's death could have potentially been prevented.

"Whilst nothing will ever be able to change what has happened, our only hope as a family now is that lessons can be learned to ensure that no one else faces the failings that led to Leigh's death.

"We put huge faith and trust into the health service to ensure that Leigh got the quality, safe care he deserved and we are devastated by what happened. It simply cannot be allowed to happen again."

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