A Colwyn Bay man died after a vein was “nicked” while a chest drain was being inserted in him in hospital, an inquest heard.

However, a serious incident review which followed the death of 58-year-old Paul Brown found that all the procedures carried out at Glan Clwyd Hospital were appropriate and by doctors with the right skills.

Mr Brown, a former steelworker, of Clos Cwm Eirias, died at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in Broadgreen on December 12, 2017, two days after being transferred from Bodelwyddan.

The hearing in Ruthin was told that although he was unwell transferring him to the specialist unit would improve his chance of survival because vital surgery could not be carried out in North Wales.

Mr Brown, who suffered from cirrhosis of the liver and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was first admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, with breathing difficulty. He had a chest drain inserted to re move air and fluid from around the lungs, but discharged himself from hospital.

He was then admitted to Glan Clwyd on November 22 with the same problem, but again discharged himself against medical advice after the fluid drained had contained some blood.

A week later he returned to Glan Clwyd where the same small amount of blood was seen, but the inquest heard that it was not unusual for that to happen, especially in someone with Mr Brown’s medical problems.

His condition deteriorated and after a third, larger drain had been inserted it was decided in consultation with doctors in Broadgreen, that he should be transferred.

After his death a post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death as multi-organ failure due to haemmorhage following insertion of a drain, and doctors at the Liverpool hospital said a vein had been “nicked”.

Joanne Lees, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said she was aware of the family’s concerns that the bleeding should have been spotted sooner but Dr Sakkarai Ambalavanan, the lead doctor in respiratory medicine at Glan Clwyd, said that had the “nick” occurred in an artery it would have been obvious much sooner.

He said it was likely that the injury had been caused during the insertion of the first drain at Glan Clwyd.

“It is a risk of the procedure, especially against a background of Mr Brown’s general physiology,” he said.

“The degree of injury must have been fairly minor because of the time it took.”

Recording a conclusion that Mr Brown’s death was the result of “a recognised complication of surgery”, Mrs Lees said she did not think a Regulation 28 report was needed to prevent future deaths.

“I have not heard anything which makes me consider there is a risk of future deaths occurring in a similar way to Mr Brown, who had several medical conditions,” she said.

Some improvements in documentation and record-keeping have been made following the SIR at Glan Clwyd but the investigation found that the liaison between the hospital and Broadgreen had been “ good practice”.