AN investigation has been launched at Royal Blackburn Hospital following the sudden death of a Ribble Valley man.

Paul Shaw suffered a stroke after an intravenous drip was wrongly inserted into his neck, an inquest opening at Blackburn Coroner’s Court heard.

He was transferred to the Critical Care Unit but died on Friday, May 30.

Health bosses said an investigation was under way, but refused to say whether the healthcare professional involved had been suspended.

Mr Shaw, 50, went into hospital on Tuesday, May 20, for an operation on a large incisional hernia, which occurs when body tissue pokes through a surgical wound in the abdomen that has not fully healed, the hearing was told.

His condition deteriorated after it was found a tube had been inserted into the carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain, instead of the jugular vein.

In a statement released after the hearing, medical director for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust Dr Ian Stanley said: “East Lancashire Hospitals Trust would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Shaw following this tragic incident. We cannot comment on any specific details but can confirm that it is subject to a full investigation.”

The Lancashire Telegraph’s medical expert Dr Tom Smith said: “It’s a colossal tragedy.”

The court was told how Mr Shaw, who was born in Sheffield but lived in Edisford Road, Clitheroe, died from a stroke, a blood clot, and the insertion of the vascular line.

Vasopressin treatment, which is administered to control the increased flow of urine in people suffering from diabetes insipidus, but can also cause narrowing of the arteries, was also a contributory factor.

Mr Shaw lived at Thistle Manor, a residential care home, and the inquest into the commis chef’s death was adjourned.