Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Scott Westgarth may not have reached specialists alive

Scott Westgarth Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Scott Westgarth was the underdog going into the bout which he won on points

A boxer who died after getting a bleed on his brain "may not have arrived alive" if he had been taken to a specialist hospital, an inquest heard.

Scott Westgarth, was taken ill after winning the biggest fight of his career against Dec Spelman in Doncaster.

The 31-year-old was checked by a doctor at the venue before being taken by ambulance to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

He deteriorated on the way and was transferred to Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield where he died.

Duty doctor Khorat Farooq was asked by the coroner if it would have been sensible for Westgarth to have gone directly to the Sheffield hospital, which has dedicated neurosurgical intensive care.

The consultant anaesthetist said it was likely they would have had to stop the ambulance during the journey so he could treat the boxer.

"He may not have arrived alive", Dr Farooq added.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption In his final post-fight interview, Westgarth spoke about his love of boxing

Dr Farooq examined Westgarth immediately after his victory in February 2018.

He told the inquest that the boxer was unsteady on his feet but this was not unusual for athletes after a fight.

Westgarth gave a post-fight interview before heading to his dressing room where he received another examination.

He complained of a headache and a sore neck and Dr Farooq believed he may have suffered a concussion.

Dr Farooq asked him to stay with his trainer Glyn Rhodes while he went away to supervise another fight, however we was called back within minutes.

Mr Westgarth had been sick and a decision was made with paramedics to take him to the nearby Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Doncaster Royal Infirmary is just a couple of miles away from the venue where the fight took place

Westgarth initially refused to lie on the stretcher but was ultimately persuaded by medical staff.

As the journey began he was conscious and answering questions but he was soon sick again.

Doctor Farooq, an experienced duty doctor at boxing events, said Westgarth was a likeable man and he wanted to do his best for him.

Westgarth, from Prudhoe, Northumberland, died of complications arising from a blood clot on the brain.

The inquest in Doncaster continues.

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