A PENSIONER contracted a hospital superbug following several hip operations at Hereford County Hospital, an inquest heard.

George William Hosmer, aged 81, of The Carthouse, Burghill, later died from a heart attack after a four-week stay in hospital.

The inquest heard Mr Hosmer had been admitted to hospital with a suspected stroke after complaining of loss of mobility of his left lower limb but initial tests and a CT scan could not confirm the diagnosis.

While in hospital, Mr Hosmer fell out of his chair and fractured his left femur bone and underwent a hip replacement operation.

Dr Chakravarti, who performed the operation, told the inquest he experienced complications when he found the prosthetic "ball" part of the joint would not sit in the correct position but he had already applied the cement which fixes the prosthetic in place and sets within minutes.

He took the decision to abort the procedure but struggled to remove all the cement before it set and was forced to use an instrument to pick away cement, which resulted in an additional hairline fracture.

The coroner was told a further successful hip replacement operation was carried out a few days later but unfortunately, Mr Hosmer dislocated his hip the following day.

In total, Mr Hosmer underwent four operations in November 2005, resulting in a prolonged stay in hospital with several courses of antibiotics.

He then contracted the hospital superbug, clostridium difficile, before suffering a fatal heart attack.

Audrey Hosmer said she was not told that her husband had contracted a superbug and was not told to wash her hands or carry out any special precautions when she visited him.

Herefordshire Coroner David Halpern said: "Several doctors have said that it is general practice to carry out a trial run assessment to ensure prosthetics are likely to fit before setting the cement in hip operations.

"I would like to recommend that the hospital review their procedures for this operation to see if it would be appropriate to recommend a trial before undertaking such operations.

"I seem to have little evidence that indicates that anything happened at that operation that caused or contributed to the cause of death.

"Although it is right to say that if the first operation had been successful, it would be likely he would have taken less antibiotics and may have been less likely to have contracted a superbug."

Mr Halpern recorded a verdict of accidental/misadventure death.