Karen Smith, 44, died at Harrogate District Hospital on October 25 last year and an inquest investigating the circumstances surrounding her death was opened in Northallerton today.
Jonathan Heath, senior coroner for North Yorkshire, said: “Circumstances known at this time are that Karen Smith became disconnected from her ventilator on October 24 (2020) and died the following day as a result of any hypoxic ischemic brain injury.”
He said the provisional causes of death are a hypoxic ischemic brain injury, the disconnection from “non-invasive ventilation apparatus” during treatment for Covid-19 and pneumonitis and the patient’s high body mass index.
The inquest has been adjourned and will resume at a later date, which has not been set yet.
Dr Jacqueline Andrews, executive medical director at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We wish to offer our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Karen Smith. Until the inquest has concluded we are unable to comment further.”
Doctors treating people for Covid-19 at NHS hospitals regularly use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation, which provides the patient with oxygen through a mask that is placed over their mouth and nose.
They also put some critically ill patients on ventilators, which are also known as life support machines or a respirators. They blow oxygen into the patient's lungs through a pipe that goes through the mouth and into their windpipe.
According to Government figures, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has treated more than 1,100 patients for Covid-19 during the pandemic.