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Mother of 3 children dies after surgeons refused to operate on her because she had head lice

By Mason White 11:35 AM December 10, 2014
Lindsay Swanson 

By: Chan Yuan
A husband in the United Kingdom, is angry after doctors refused to perform surgery on his wife, which ultimately led to her death.

The mother of three children died after doctors canceled two vital operations because the woman was suffering from a severe case of head lice, an inquiry has heard.

Lindsay Swanson, 34, was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis caused by gallstones, and doctors said that they would have to remove them within six weeks, a court heard.

However, on two occasions, surgeons refused to perform the operation because Swanson had lice.

Dr. Clare Brown, who was the chief surgeon at the General Hospital of Leicester, said: “It’s less than ideal to operate on someone with severe infestation of lice.”

She said that microscopic wounds on the head from scratching could lead to infection.

The woman’s partner, Lee Dunning, said that he tried to treat the lice, but it caused her hair to fall out.

Dr. Yazdiwe, who worked in the pre-op assessment unit, said that they were concerned over Swanson’s head lice and her faster than normal heartbeat.

The doctor wanted to discuss the matter with Swanson’s general doctor, but she refused to give them permission.

After she was sent home, Lindsay was taken to a hospital by ambulance and tragically died a few weeks later.

Pathologist Lawrence Brown found the cause of death as multi-organ failure caused by pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.