Family vows campaign after dad's post-surgery death
A dad-of-four who fractured his ankle died ten days after a routine operation to fix the break, an inquest heard.
George Wilson injured his foot after falling whilst walking his dog in the snow, on December 16, last year.
The 61-year-old who worked as an illustrator for English Heritage, died 10 days after surgery after developing a pulmonary embolism and suffering cardiac arrest.
Croydon Coroners Court heard he underwent surgery at the Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley on December 30, 2011, and was discharged the next day.
Orthopaedic surgeon Max Edwards told the court prior to surgery, Mr Wilson had been given an injection to thin the blood.
He said: "Mr Wilson had a very straight forward fracture, any patient that comes into hospital should have a deep vein thrombosis assessment which he had.
"The injection under the skin reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but doesn't reduce the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism."
Mr Edwards said it was routine for any patient undergoing surgery to be giving stockings to help prevent DVT, but Mr Wilson's family said he was never given a pair.
A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as a pulmonary embolism, due to deep vein thrombosis, due to a recent operation on an ankle fracture.
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Wilson's son Nik, said the family had concerns about whether he was really suitable for the treatment and did not understand why he wasn't given medication to help thin his blood.
The 30-year-old said: "This shouldn't have happened, why didn't they provide blood thinning drugs. There were risks, he was over 60 and had a history of varicose veins.
"We are going to take it as far as we can because I cannot bear to think of another family having to go through what we have been through."
Remembering "a devoted family man," he said: "He was a fantastic guy, a lovely chap. He was very generous, very unique- he always wore odd socks. Over 300 people were at his funeral and we all wore odd socks in his memory.
"He and my mum had all these plans for their rest of their lives together and now they have all been cut short.
"We urge anyone due for surgery however minor, to insist on a full and thorough risk assessment particularly with regard to blood clotting, before their operation, to prevent further unnecessary lost lives."
The coroner recorded a narrative verdict.