Coroner to highlight blood clot risks following sudden death of Co Tyrone church minister

Coroner Joe McCrisken is to raise risks of DVT 'in all situations' following sudden death of 46 year-old church minister
Coroner Joe McCrisken is to raise risks of DVT 'in all situations' following sudden death of 46 year-old church minister

A CORONER is to write to the Chief Medical Officer to highlight the risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) following the sudden death of a 46 year-old Presbyterian minister.

Joe McCrisken was speaking at the inquest into the death of Rev Robert Alexander Campbell, of Tullybroom Road, Clogher, Co Tyrone'.

The inquest heard that Rev Campbell had suffered a fractured toe and associated mobility issues, in the weeks prior to his death.

He was treated at the Tyrone County Hospital Accident and Emergency Department on 10 May 2017, and after diagnosis was placed in a plaster cast and provided with crutches.

He was again assessed on May 31.

However less than a week later, Rev Campbell died suddenly with the cause of death found to be pulmonary thromboembolism – a clot on the lung. Contributing factors were the associated injury and a clot in the left leg.

Mr McCrisken said he had spoken privately with Rev Campbell’s relatives in advance of the inquest opening, where they had raised concerns as to why there had been no preventive action taken by physicians to address the potential for blood clots, following the injury.

The coroner said: “I have been able to reassure the family all required protocols were followed and as a result a full inquest to formally hear from medical staff will not be necessary.”

He said he was satisfied that staff had adhered fully to the required procedures and treatment was appropriate.

A risk assessment was conducted and it was recorded no ant-clotting medication was required.

Rev Campbell, said the corner, “did not present as an elevated risk of a deep vein thrombosis and the proper care was provided".

"It was difficult for the family to understand what had occurred and why. On review of the paperwork, I see absolutely no issue at all with care, and I have explained this to the family.”

However Mr McCrisken pointed out that he intended to write to the Chief Medical Officer, suggesting information is provided to health care staff in all situations, not just where risk is indicated such as age, obesity or other factors.

He said: “This death shows there may still be some risk. While I am satisfied Rev Campbell was given good and accurate advice, I want to raise the issue with the Chief Medical Officer.”

The coroner thanked the medical and Heath Trust staff who attended the inquest in preparation for giving evidence which was, ultimately, not required.