A 41-year-old Swindon man died after suddenly developing unexpected complications following an elective bowel surgery.

David Long seemed to be recovering well from an operation at Great Western Hospital last March but was re-admitted just 12 hours later in severe pain.

An inquest held at Swindon and Wiltshire Coroner's Court on Friday morning determined the cause of the 41-year-old's untimely death.

The inquest heard that, despite undergoing an emergency procedure and receiving appropriate medical care and antibiotics after returning to the hospital, Mr Long died there at around 7am on March 16, 2022.

Senior coroner David Ridley recorded the death as an accident, with the health complications being an unintended consequence of the deliberate act of having the elective operation.

David was born in Swindon, lived with his parents, and had some learning difficulties.

On March 7, he attended GWH with concerns about bleeding from his abdomen. Health professionals noticed a cancerous tumour in his bowel and carried out a two-hour elective operation to remove it. 

In the days that followed, the patient felt well again and the medics who observed and examined him found no cause for alarm.

When discharged from hospital on March 13, he recorded a pain score of zero.

Senior coroner David Ridley said: "There was a problem developing but no outward way of knowing about it."

Mr Long returned to GWH the next day, March 14, because he was experiencing extreme abdominal pain and vomiting, and recorded a pain score of 11, which is considered very high.

Doctors' reports noted that he had "suffered a rapid and profound deterioration" and had "an unusually profound negative response to these complications".

Surgeons found that his bowel was leaking into his abdomen and promptly carried out a laporotomy to repair the leak and empty the affected area, but Mr Long did not fully recover from the operation.

The verdict into his death reads: "He originally had elective surgery to remove a colonic adenocarcinoma on March 7, 2022. Having been deemed fit enough, he was discharged from hospital on March 13, but was re-admitted within 12 hours presenting with abdominal pains and vomiting.

"A laparotomy on March 14 revealed a post-operative colonic anastomotic leak which, although washed out, still resulted in David developing peritonitis prior to dying directly from mixed bacterial sepsis as a result of David not responding to treatment.

"At postmortem, David was found also to have dilated cardiomyopathy which would have reduced physiological reserve and more likely than not contributed to his death."