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Paramedics misdiagnosed Telford man's heart attack as gastric illness, inquest hears

By Aimee Jones | Telford | Health | Published:

Paramedics misdiagnosed a former Telford College lecturer's heart attack as a gastric illness, an inquest heard.

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Stuart Taylor, 67, died on August 30, 2018, at the town’s Princess Royal Hospital after initially falling ill while holidaying with family in Yorkshire.

His family are questioning whether he would have survived had he been taken to hospital in the area and been correctly diagnosed.

Mr Taylor’s wife, Amanda Jenkins, called 999 on August 25 after he began complaining of chest pains and indigestion-like symptoms.

Her statement was read out at the hearing at the Register Office in Shrewsbury yesterday.

She said: "I told the operator about his chest pains and an ambulance arrived within five minutes. The ECG machine didn't work to start with but the paramedics said the results were normal.

"They didn't do a blood test or clinically examine him. They told us it was a gastric problem and there was nothing to worry about. There was never any mention of going to hospital or any further treatment."

Mr Taylor remained tired and lethargic for the rest of the weekend and would not eat or drink.

He later had an appointment with a local GP, whom Mrs Jenkins described as "uninterested", who also diagnosed him with a gastric bug.

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The family returned home to Telford a day early on the Thursday evening and Mr Taylor collapsed on the bathroom floor. He was taken by ambulance to the PRH where he was confirmed dead.

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Mrs Jenkins added: "The family and I are shocked and devastated. We had plans for our future and I now realise how much we relied on him. He has left a huge hole in our lives.

"I want to know if he should have been taken to hospital that Saturday morning and if so, whether he could have been saved."

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The inquest also heard from specialist paramedic Simon Booth, who is based at Grassington Ambulance Station in the Yorkshire Dales.

Mr Booth attended along with his colleague, emergency care assistant Hannah Hutchinson, after receiving a message that a male was experiencing chest pains.

However on arrival, Mr Taylor did not present with chest pains but with abdominal discomfort instead, said Mr Booth.

After carrying out a series of checks and an ECG, Mr Booth believed the patient was not experiencing cardiac problems.

He said: "I offered that we could go to hospital, get a GP or that he could stay at home. They are my options that I give to every patient - then I give my suggestion and my suggestion was to stay at home.

"I was sure he was having some abdominal problem and he would be fine in a few days. If for one second I thought he was having a cardiac event, I would have taken him to hospital."

Independent consultant cardiologist Dr Abdallah Al-Mohammad told the inquest it was not always possible to diagnose a cardiac issue as it can present as abdominal pain and not always show on an ECG.

The inquest continues.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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