Surgeon cleared in knee op death case

By Ian Dipple Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 10:03

Latest News

Buy photos » Businessman Luigi Belcuore died after having air injected into his knee. (s)

A SURGEON has been cleared of wrong-doing over the death of a father of three during a knee operation.

Professor James Richardson has been allowed to continue his career after a fitness to practise hearing, held by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, found all the key facts against him unproven.

Prof Richardson was under investigation following the death of Luigi Belcuore, from Morton Bagot near Studley, in 2009. The 43-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest during a procedure to remove knee cartilage in a clinical trial at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Shropshire. An inquest recorded a narrative verdict stating he had died from an air embolism during arthroscopic surgery.

Prof Richardson used a piece of equipment used to blow air into the knee joint, which he had modified for the operation, during the procedure.

During the five week hearing Prof Richardson faced allegations he had failed to provide good clinical care, had not informed Mr Belcuore of the use of the modified device and the changes made, had not got consent and that his actions had increased the risk of an air embolism.

After hearing expert testimony the panel found the outcome of the surgery could not reasonably have been foreseen and was the result of an abnormal and undetectable pseudo cyst.

It also accepted Mr Belcuore had been shown a diagram of how the operation was to be performed, which included arrows representing air, even though Prof Richardson had not named the actual device. All expert witnesses agreed consent had been satisfactorily obtained.

The panel did find Prof Richardson's modification of the device was not in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines, a robust risk assessment had not been carried out and he had used a different type of needle, but none of these changed the overall findings.

Michael Menlowe, the tribunal's chairman, said: "This is a tragic case in which a young man lost his life. The panel extends its condolences to the family."

Mr Belcuore's wife Penny only found out after her husband's death she was pregnant with their third child. The hospital Trust has admitted liability and apologised to the family and an undisclosed compensation payment has been made.

Share This

Popular »

1 Council seizes derelict properties

2 Go meat free for St George

3 Sheep stolen from Alvechurch

4 Serious sexual assault at lake

5 Police warn parents over free for all

More news »

Tenant row Tory councillor quits party

A BOROUGH councillor who sparked outrage with his

Turn a five into a fortune for the Primrose Hospice

YOUNG people from Redditch aged nine and upwards

Bedroom tax will hit those already struggling to pay rent

ALMOST a quarter of council tenants set to

Chance to share in Youth House take over

RESIDENTS could be offered the chance to buy

Regional news »

Bromsgrove Standard
'Traffic proposals for Whitford Road plan not good enough,' claims ...

THE WARD councillor responsible for Bromsgrove's Whitford Road has warned ...

Stratford Observer
Shakespeare - England ultimate claim to fame

SHAKESPEARE is England's ultimate claim to fame. The Bard won ...

Evesham Observer
Egg-citing events at the Riverside

EVESHAM's Riverside Shopping Centre went Easter mad last week as ...