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Mum died from DVT after double-fall
11:51am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
DEEP vein thrombosis killed a York mother who had injured both her legs in falls and flown to Spain in the weeks before her death.
She had injured her left leg when she fell from her bike weeks before and then badly hurt her right leg days before Christmas while standing on a chair to hang decorations. After a brace was applied, Mrs Ryan’s family sought medical advice from the out-of-hours GP service when the injured leg became cold, but the pain worsened in the days before her death.
In a letter read out at the inquest, Mrs Ryan’s daughter, Stacey Scott, said her family had not been advised that the calf pain her mother felt in the days before she died might be “a warning sign” about DVT. She said: “On December 31, she was a bit perkier, but while she was sitting at the table decorating a cake, she collapsed – she said she could not breathe.”
Mrs Ryan died at York Hospital that evening. She had flown to Tenerife with a friend at the start of December, with her daughter saying she paid for extra leg-room on her flight and had not complained about any pain during or after her holiday.
Dr Nicola Maughan, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mrs Ryan, said it was possible to have DVT without any symptoms “to a certain extent”.
She said: “It seems to have been an unfortunate chain – an injury to one leg reducing mobility, followed by a flight, followed by an injury to another leg – and that all of these had an effect.”
The inquest heard that, after her second fall on December 20, Mrs Ryan’s leg was stabilised through a knee-brace and medical evidence showed this did not heighten the chances of developing DVT, but blood-thinners might have been considered if her leg had been put in a cast.
Recording a conclusion of death by natural causes, York coroner Donald Coverdale said “a number of risk factors” may have led to Mrs Ryan developing DVT, but there was no indication this was happening when her second leg injury was assessed and she had received “conventional” treatment.