Inquiry blames surgical failures for Scottish patient deaths

Friday, February 17, 2012

A fatal accident inquiry concluded three patients who underwent keyhole surgery to remove their gall bladders died as a result of mistakes during, and after, the operations. Agnes Nicol, George Johnstone, and Andrew Ritchie died within a three-month period in 2006 whilst in the care of NHS Lanarkshire in Scotland.

Later expanded to look at all three deaths, the inquiry initially established to look into the case of Nicol, 50, who received surgery in late 2005. A surgeon at Wishaw General Hospital mistakenly cut her bile duct and her right hepatic artery. Whilst suturing her portal vein, her liver was left with 20% of its normal blood supply; the errors were not discovered until her transfer to liver specialists at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

By then, her liver was seriously damaged. She developed septicaemia, dying from multiple organ failure in March 2006.

Johnstone, 54, underwent the same procedure at Monklands District General Hospital on May 9, 2006. A consultant surgeon accidentally damaged, possibly severing, his bile duct. He died two days later in intensive care from the combined effects of multiple organ failure and a heart ailment.

Ritchie, 62, died in intensive care a week after an operation in June 2006. He died from intra abdominal haemorrhage caused by errors during the surgery.

Different surgeons were involved each time and the inquiry, under Sheriff Robert Dickson, found no evidence of poor training or inadequate experience. Dickson noted that in each case there was lack of action on a “growing body of evidence that there was something fundamentally wrong with the patient” and surgeons failed to contemplate their own actions as potentially responsible. He agreed with two professors that it may have been possible to save their lives “had the post-operative care been to the standard which they expected, and had there been a proper management plan which staff could have worked to” and noted that all the patients suffered from a lack of adequate medical notes being available after their surgery. He described the care as having “clear faults”.

NHS Lanarkshire has issued an apology, saying they “did fall below the high standards of care we aim to maintain in these cases and this has been extremely distressing for the patients’ families. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to them.” The health board added improvements had been made regarding “these types of cases” as well as with document management.

Saudi Arabia plans to open embassy in Finland

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It has been announced that Saudi Arabia is planning to open an official embassy in Finland, to signify continuing improvement in relations between the two countries.

Teemu Tanner, director general of Africa and the Middle East at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, said to reporters concerning Finnish President Tarja Halonen’s first visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, “One indication of this visit is that you (Saudi Arabia) are planning to open an embassy here in Helsinki,” adding that “We regard this as extremely important for relations,” and that it is only a matter of time before the facility is made available.

Another act set to strengthen diplomatic relations is the planned visit of a trade delegation headed by Saudi Minister of Trade and Commerce Hashim Yamani, which will arrive in Finland next month.

“Our relationship is no longer in relation to trade,” said Tanner. “More broadly, we will discuss regional and global issues. It is extremely important for us to know Saudi Arabia’s views on Iraq, Iran, but also issues such as Somalia… One objective of the visit is to convey notes on international questions, as we enter a very interesting phase in the Middle East peace process,” adding that the presidential visit is a relational “landmark” that will “crystallize” Finland’s image to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the comment that the international cooperation is no longer entirely a trade issue, he did point out Saudi Arabia’s important role in the Finnish economy as one of the five largest importers of Finnish products. Finland’s main exports to Saudi Arabia are mobile phones, paper, wood and machinery, while Saudi Arabia exports large quantities of raw materials for use in manufacturing plastics. The total volume if this trade is estimated to be worth over €840 million.

Other topics on the table for the two nations to discuss during Halonen’s visit include energy, the role of science, environmental issues and combating terrorism, as well as other global issues. Tanner has also suggested tourism may be a future area of attention, with a possibility of package holidays for Finnish tourists being organized to Saudi Arabia.

Finland and Saudi Arabia have been officially involved in diplomatic relations since 1969. Finland has maintained an embassy in Saudi Arabia since 1974.

Wikinews Shorts: March 15, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, March 15, 2007.


  • 1 Potter #7 to break Potter #6’s record
  • 2 Harry Potter to appear on French stamps
  • 3 Wal-Mart’s package reduction strategy results
  • 4 TV show about a card game to launch in Canada
  • 5 Wind tunnel free-fall record set

12 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be printed by American publisher Scholastic, a record setting number for the first edition of any book.

The immensely popular book series will break Scholastic’s previous record first printing, for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which sold 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours of release.

The first six books have sold a total of 325 million copies worldwide.

The Deathly Hallows will be released July 21, at 12:01 am EST.


Photos of the Harry Potter movie cast will appear on French stamps and stationery.

La Poste will release the three designs this weekend, with the following rate/design combinations:

  • Priority domestic: Harry Potter
  • Slow domestic: Ron Weasley
  • International: Hermoine Granger

The Harry Potter characters have appeared on stamps in Australia, the Isle of Man, and Taiwan, as well as numerous smaller nations that depend on stamp sales to foreigners. Canada has issued non-circulation coins of many of the characters, based on the movie actors’ appearances.


After launching its Packaging Scorecard initiative on February 1, Wal-Mart has released its first in-store packaging reduction results.

On February 1, Wal-Mart announced that its trying to reduce packaging by 5% as of 2013. Their vendor site has been visited by 2268 companies, and 117 products have been entered into their sustainability calculator. It determines the score based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by production, materials, product-to-packing ratio, and “cube utilization”, how space efficient the product can be shipped.

Buyers will be able to log onto the website in 2008, to make their purchasing decisions.

Beyond attracting environmentally conscientious customers, this move will save Wal-Mart USD$3.4 billion over the next five years.


European trading card game-turned-television series Chaotic will air in North America for the first time March 16. Canada’s Teletoon animation channel has scheduled the series to appear regularly Sunday mornings.

The series helps viewers learn game strategies for the game. Unlike most card games, kids are encouraged to play virtually; once they purchase a pack, they type in special codes on the cards to access those characters online.

The plot of Card Captors Sakura was based around a card game, while the Pokemon game is a famous spin-off products, based on the series and video game.

Chaotic was also the name of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s reality television series.


Andy Scott of Marsh Gibbon, England just set the world record for “free falling distance in a vertical wind tunnel”.

By balancing himself in the jet of air for one hour, 18 minutes and 52 seconds, Scott, 37, fell the equivilent of 130 miles at the Airkix Windtunnel in Milton Keynes.

Vertical windtunnels were originally created so that free fall parachutists could safely practice positioning themselves, before making actual real life attempts.

The record has yet to be officially confirmed with Guinness World Records.


Photoessay: The Idiotarod: When Good Shopping Carts Go Bad

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Washington, D.C. —When you mix a shopping cart, six team members, bar hopping and bonus points for schmoozing bar hostesses and sabotaging your enemies, you get the annual Washington, D.C. Idiotarod race. On Saturday, this bizarre fund raising event, which originated in San Francisco 13 years ago, pitted teams of “sleds” together to race from bar to bar in Washington, D.C.’s fashionable Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. Each “sled” consists of a “borrowed” shopping cart and six human dogs to pull the cart. Points are given for originality, the best time and best sabotage of another sled.

The race is held to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center and is organized by Ellen Shortill and Kristen Heatherly. Their organization, called “SMASHED” or “Society for Mature Adults Seeking to Help, Entertain and Donate”, takes the position that donating small amounts many times ultimately benefits the smaller charities. Said Shortill, “Our goal is simply to have fun and raise money for those charities that don’t really get any attention.”

The race this year consisted of 22 teams. Although team “Save NOLA” got to the last bar first, teams can win bonus points for (among other things) flirting with bar hosts and hostesses at any of the five bars along the route. The route is approximately 3 miles long, and each team is required to spend at least 20 minutes in each bar. Heatherly noted that “it doesn’t matter who got here first, ultimately its the team with the most credits and the best time that wins.”

Unique among the participants are brothers Pete and Chris Magnuson who are attempting to get on the 10th edition of Amazing Race on CBS. Their team called “Pick Pete and Chris” ran through the streets with t-shirts hawking their website and their fervent desire to be chosen for the next edition of the television show.

“Its not really about who wins, its that we get to have a blast and raise some money,” said Shortill. The charity event raised about $500 and various canned goods for the food pantry.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Fire ruins historical building of Prague Exhibition Grounds

Friday, October 17, 2008

The left wing of the Industrial Palace (Pr?myslový palác) – central building of the Prague Exhibition Grounds (Výstavišt?) in the capital city of Czech Republic was destroyed by fire yesterday night. The fire began at the roof and flames were visible from kilometers away. Two hundred firefighters fought the fire and got it under control in less than three hours. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

The left wing of the Art Nouveau building was destroyed, the roof and most of enclosure walls collapsed. The amount of damage can rise up to 1 billion Czech crowns (approx. 40 million euro). Although a student music festival was organized in close surroundings, none were injured.

Mayor of Prague Pavel Bém promised the city will rebuild the Palace, but refused to comment immediately on the view of the new or renewed building.

The Industrial Palace was inaugurated in 1891. It was the biggest building on the exhibition grounds. Architect Bed?ich Münzberger used the glassed-in steel structures for the first time in the Czech lands. The building was 238 meters long and its main tower was 51 meters tall. It was used mainly for trade fairs and exhibitions, but also for concerts and other culture events.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and could take a week to discover the cause. Press reports suggest the fire is connected to the October 9 murder of businessman Václav Ko?ka junior, whose father is engaged in the Incheba company and has been leasing the exhibition grounds since 2001. Václav Ko?ka senior is a friend of former Czech prime minister Ji?í Paroubek. However, authorities mentioned an accident – explosion of pressure gas cylinder – was the probable cause. Incheba said they have video of the explosion recorded from the security cameras.

Oscar Foreign Film race narrowed to nine films

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nine films have advanced to “Phase II” of the 80th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film race, out of 63 international films entered.

They are:

Several hundred Los Angeles-based members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which hosts the “Oscars”, screened the eligible films to determine the shortlist. The nominees will be decided by 10 random members from the “Phase I” group, and ten Los Angeles and New York members specially invited to participate. They will view the screenings in marathon viewings, from Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 20, in both cities.

Nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the AMPAS headquarters. The award ceremony, if not interrupted by the WGA writers’ strike, will air Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre.

Wikinews interviews Australian Statistician Brian Pink

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is responsible for some of Australia’s largest surveys, including the Census of Population and Housing, held every five years. At its head is the Australian Statistician. The current Statistician, Brian Pink, started in his position on March 5, 2007, following the retirement of predecessor Dennis Trewin. Wikinews recently caught up with Brian Pink to talk with him about his first year in the position, as well as his previous tenure as Government Statistician at Statistics New Zealand, and the state of mathematical education in Australia.

((WikiNews)) : Good afternoon.

Brian Pink: Good afternoon.

((WN)) : And congratulations on spending a year as Australian Statistician.

BP: Yes, it’s gone very quickly. (laughs)

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

Blues musician B.B. King dies aged 89

Friday, May 15, 2015

B.B. King, legendary blues guitarist well known for tracks such as “Rock Me Baby”, “My Lucille”, and “The Thrill Is Gone”, died in his Las Vegas home yesterday at the age of 89.

Attorney Brent Bryson said King died in his sleep.

A 15-time Grammy winner, with over 50 albums released, King played live for nearly 70 years. He had reportedly collapsed at a Chicago performance back in October, and blamed dehydration and exhaustion for the incident. King recently was under hospice care at home, after being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure in hospital. The last public statement B.B King made, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, was early this month. He said, “I am in hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”

Known for playing the blues on his Gibson guitar called Lucille, B.B King was admired by many musicians, including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Rush. The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both inducted him in the 1980s; and the Songwriters Hall of Fame recognized him with a lifetime achievement award in 1990. King also collaborated with other music artists and bands. In 1989 he played with U2 on their track “When Love Comes to Town”, and in the millennium, worked with Eric Clapton on “Riding with the King”; which received a Grammy that same year.

Riley B King, who would eventually be called the King of Blues, grew up in Mississippi where he lived on a plantation as a sharecropper. He found success in the 50’s with hit track “Three O’Clock Blues”, and was well-known for not singing and playing guitar at the same time; a call and response between his vocals and his Lucille.

With the news of his death, many musicians payed their respects through Twitter. Guitarist Richie Sambora wrote, “My friend and legend BB King passed. I’m so so sad, he was so great to me. We’ve lost the King. My love and prayers to his family.” The Beatles’ Ringo Starr also wrote, “God bless BB King, peace and love to his family”.

PostHeaderIcon How To Choose The Best Home Care Agencies


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Agency staff training

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Is Medicare or Medicaid accepted?

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