Tragedy as D-Day hero dies after being given unnecessary high-risk kidney test

Stanley Babbs, 91, was killed by a series of NHS blunders (Image: Jo Pearson)

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A D-Day hero aged 91 died after ­being given an unnecessary high-risk ­kidney scan, an inquest heard.

Stanley Babbs was given a contrast scan and the dye used in it damaged his kidneys.

After falling ill at home he was rushed back to hospital with a contrast-induced acute
kidney injury.

He was fitted with a catheter in intensive care and subsequently developed a ­urinary tract infection, most likely caused by the catheter, which led to fatal sepsis. 

A coroner argued he would never have needed the catheter if he was not being treated for the kidney damage caused by the dye and Mr Babbs’ death in February 2016 had been ­avoidable.

After the hearing, Mr Babbs’ son Terry said: “Dad was a fit bloke for his age. He had everything to live for.

“He might still be with us but for the ­unnecessary tragedy that took his life.”

Retired glazier Mr Babbs, of Barking, East London, was a Naval aircraft gunner ­during the 1944 landings.

RMr Babbs was a Naval aircraft gunner during the 1944 landings

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He had diabetes, kidney disease and heart failure but lived an active life.

Mr Babbs was referred to King George Hospital in Ilford with a slightly low red blood cell count and had a CT scan, despite the risk.

Wife of 68 years Joan died six months after him – from a broken heart, Terry said.

In a narrative verdict, Coroner Nadia Persaud said with proper assessment and analysis, the scan “would not have been performed and his death at that time would have been avoided”.

She added: “I have heard evidence of systemic medical failings.”

Magda Smith, Chief Medical Officer at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’d like to offer reassurance we have learned from this, made improvements as acknowledged by the coroner and will continue to work hard to ensure something similar cannot happen again.”

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