Maurice Murphy died after “doctor put food tube into his lung”

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maurice murphyBy Mark Blunden and Josie Hinton of the London Evening Standard

Originial article link: here

A celebrated trumpet player who featured on the soundtracks to Star Wars and Harry Potter died after a hospital feeding tube was mistakenly inserted into his lung, an inquest heard.

Maurice Murphy, 75, was being treated for a liver complaint at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, when a tube was fed through his nose into his right lung rather than his stomach, causing fatal pneumonia.

Poplar coroner’s court heard that a junior doctor, Jonas Woo, overruled a nurse who questioned the procedure, despite a radiologist’s report saying the tube was in the wrong place.

Juliet Boateng said she became concerned when she could not remove fluid through the tube. An X-ray was performed and Dr Woo, a registrar in general medicine, told her to start feeding.

Radiologist Dr Naheed Mir saw the X-ray and filed a report flagging up the error, the inquest heard. Over the next few days, Dr Woo still thought Mr Murphy was being fed successfully.

Ms Boateng said: “I spoke to the doctor again and asked him to confirm if the tube was in the correct position. He said to me, ‘You don’t have a brain to remember that I told you to start the feed as the tube is in the right position.'”

Mr Murphy, of Mill Hill, became increasingly unwell and died within 24 hours, on October 28 last year.

Dr Woo told Coroner Dr Andrew Reid he had been “confident” the tube was in the right place. He said he had been unaware of the radiologist’s report, as he was new to the hospital.

In a narrative verdict, Dr Reid said Mr Murphy died due to an “accidental adverse healthcare event combined with and contributed to by natural causes.” The Hammersmith-born musician was regarded as Britain’s leading orchestral trumpet player.

Part of the London Symphony Orchestra for 30 years, he played on soundtracks to about 450 films, including Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Superman and Harry Potter.

Composer John Williams said his trumpet created “the ideal voice of a hero”. He was made an MBE last year. His widow, Shirley, 75, said “the system broke down” but her husband had received good NHS care.

She added: “Maurice was an outgoing, gregarious person and more than 1,000 attended his funeral.” He leaves a son, Martin, 47, and grandson, Sam, 22.

The Royal Free has reviewed its policy to make sure doctors read radiologist’s reports before tube feeding begins.

A Royal Free spokeswoman said: “All staff who were involved in this unfortunate incident are receiving support and training from senior colleagues.

“The junior doctor involved is receiving further training, mentoring and counselling through his specialist training programme which includes tools to assist with reflective practice.”

2 Responses to “Maurice Murphy died after “doctor put food tube into his lung””

  1. John C Copeland says:

    I viewed an LSO class done by Maurice and another fellow. was impressed by Maurice’s capability to bring to the trumpet what the trumpet has always meant to me. Starting at 6 years of age, played many years ago in San Francisco with both the Symphony Orchestra and Jazz on Broad street in the clubs. Have decided to take up once again my Selmer Paris B flat horn and pay Maurice a tribute from my heart.

  2. cavitacion says:

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

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