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West Suffolk Hospital 'sorry' after man admitted with knee injury dies

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 March 2019

Paul Easlea worked as a craftsman for Stowmarket Town Council. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

Paul Easlea worked as a craftsman for Stowmarket Town Council. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

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Tributes have been made to a Stowmarket Town Council worker who died from a blood clot less than two days after being taken to hospital following a fall.

The bench remembers Mr Easlea who was popular amongst his colleagues. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCILThe bench remembers Mr Easlea who was popular amongst his colleagues. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

Paul Easlea, 64, who died in April 2014, has been described as “a warm-hearted, friendly and generous person” by his council colleagues.

An inquest into his death, which took place this week at Suffolk Coroners Court, concluded that he died of natural causes, despite noting that hospital staff missed an opportunity to give him potentially life-saving medication, an act they later apologised for.

The court heard how he was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital following a fall which left him with severe ligament damage to his knee. There was concern he may need surgery so he was not given blood thinning medication at that time.

An inconclusive ultra-sound scan lead to further confusion, but a blood clot risk test was not reassessed.

A bench has been placed in the town in memory of Mr Easlea. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCILA bench has been placed in the town in memory of Mr Easlea. Picture: STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

The following day, Mr Easlea collapsed and despite an emergency resuscitation team working to revive him for over an hour and a half, he was pronounced dead on April 6.

Senior Coroner, Nigel Parsley, concluded that Mr Easlea died of natural causes. He said that it was not known if blood thinning treatment could have saved his life.

A West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “Our thoughts are very much with Mr Easlea’s family.

“It was acknowledged that we cannot know whether, had blood-thinning medication been given, it would have impacted on this sad outcome. However, this medication should have been given to Mr Easlea and wasn’t, and for that we are very sorry.

“Since this sad incident, we have introduced an electronic health record which makes it much easier for us to prescribe, administer and monitor this and other medications. We are confident that this significantly reduces the risk of something similar happening in the future, and hope this offers some comfort to Mr Easlea’s family.”

David Blackburn, Stowmarket Town Council Clerk, said: “Paul was an excellent public servant who quietly went about his work within the town.

“Paul loved his family and helped out regularly at the parish church. He was a warm-hearted, friendly and generous person who is very much missed by us all.”

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