Woman killed by blood clot after ankle injury

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A young woman died weeks after an ankle operation when a lung artery suddenly blocked with a blood-clot – triggered by morbid obesity and reduced mobility, an inquest heard.

Tragic Victoria Eades, 32, died at her home in Fabric View, Holmewood, in March 2012 after suffering a pulmonary embolism – just weeks after an operation to fix a fractured ankle.

Coroner Louise Pinder said: “The pulmonary embolism developed as a result of a combination of both morbid obesity and reduced mobility following the fall. The risk of developing a pulmonary embolism associated with morbid obesity, although rare, was an ongoing risk.”

Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard last Wednesday that Miss Eades slipped on a muddy grate outside Calver Craft Centre on February 21. She was immediately taken to the Whitworth Hospital, in Darley Dale. A small fracture was spotted and Miss Eades underwent surgery at Chesterfield Royal Hospital on February 24.

Following a successful operation, Miss Eades remained in hospital for three days and was sent home with her leg in a cast. She was prescribed anti-coagulation medication to prevent blood clots forming.

The court heard this medication was prescribed due to Miss Eade’s weight – and would not normally be given to people her age - but did not fully eliminate the chance of blood clots forming.

Surgeon Matthew Morris, who carried the operation, said that if Miss Eades had been treated now the anti-coagulation medication would have continued for the entire time she was in plaster – not just the two weeks she received it for.

“We are now recommending that any patient with a high risk assessment, the medication would continue for the entire duration in plaster,” he said. But Mr Morris said he “could not answer” whether the problem would have been avoided if the medication had continued.

Victoria “remained well” until the morning of March 19, when she suddenly developed shortness of breath and collapsed. Miss Eades’ partner called emergency services, but paramedics pronounced her dead at 8.47am.

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion, citing the cause of death as pulmonary embolism. Morbid obesity and reduced mobility were contributory factors.