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City banker dies after breathing tube blockage.


A city banker who underwent heart surgery at a leading private hospital died after the ventilation tube that was helping him to breathe became blocked, an inquest heard.

Robert Entenman, 57, an American who had lived in Britain for more than 30 years, went into cardiac arrest after the pipe became blocked with mucus because the humidifier on the ventilator had been switched off for 19 hours.

Mr Entenman, global head of e-commerce for UniCredit bank, suffered from mitral valve disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis and had undergone surgery to repair a broken valve in his heart at London Bridge Hospital, one of the country’s largest private medical facilities, whose website says it provides  “award-winning, unrivalled, private healthcare.”

Southwark coroner’s court was told that Mr Entenman’s recovery had been progressing normally in the intensive care unit before he went into respiratory cardiac arrest eight days after his operation.

The inquest heard that doctors had asked nurses if there were any issues with the endotracheal tube and whether they were able to use a suction catheter to remove mucus from the end of the tube.

A doctor who was on call at the hospital on May 23, Hadi Omran, said: “The answer was there was no problems with passing down the suction catheter. After that a different nurse said, ‘No there has been a problem passing the suction catheter down’.” He agreed that, if he had been told there was an issue with the catheter earlier, he would he have examined the tube straight away.

He said: “You have to be 100 per cent sure. If you take the tube out you might not be able to replace it and the patient might not have recovered from this arrest.”

The night doctor on duty in intensive care at that time, Chee Wong, said that when the blocked tube was replaced, “immediately the chest wall started expanding nicely and the saturation improved”. Doctors believed that Mr Entenman had not suffered brain damage because the problem had been picked up quickly and he had been stabilised.

However, two days later, doctors carried out a CT scan and found that there had been significant brain injury and Mr Entenman died on May 30.

Paul McNeil, representing Mr Entenman’s family, said that his firm would investigate whether to bring a High Court negligence claim at the conclusion of the five-day inquest.