North East Wales

Mold Psychiatric patient 'died minutes after sedation'

Coroner's Office, Ruthin Image copyright Google
Image caption The Coroner's Office in Ruthin

A psychiatric patient who refused to go to hospital died within minutes of being sedated so he could make the journey, an inquest heard.

Paramedics and a GP tried to resuscitate Glen Yates, also known as Colin Atkinson, but he was confirmed dead at Maelor Hospital, Wrexham.

Mr Yates, 36, of Mold, had been diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1999.

A coroner told an inquest in Ruthin he had no on-going concerns about how the matter was handled.

John Gittins, the coroner for North Wales East and Central, said: "It was clearly a very rare occurrence."

Mr Yates, a former forestry worker, became a patient at the mental health rehabilitation unit Delfryn House, near Mold, in March 2014.

Laura Rogers, head of care at the unit at that time, said he had physical health problems including diabetes and heart and respiratory problems but often did not take his medication.

"He was aware that he had a diagnosis of schizophrenia but did not agree with it," she said.

In May 2014, he discharged himself from hospital against medical advice.

'Difficult case'

In October that year, Mr Yates was struggling to breathe and sweating but he refused to go to hospital by ambulance. His GP in Mold, Sekela Mwambingu, told him he would die if he did not.

She and doctors at Delfryn House agreed Mr Yates did not have the mental capacity to refuse admission to hospital.

Dr Mwambingu said: "It was a very difficult case and I felt that I did what I did in the patient's best interests. I didn't think there was an option not to sedate him."

But she added with hindsight, she would have ensured there was an antidote to the sedative available and would have consulted a more senior medical colleague.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Yates died of respiratory tract infection and heart failure, with diabetes a contributory factor.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said a review into the case found all the actions were in the patient's best interests.

Recording a conclusion of natural causes, the coroner said he did not see the need to issue a report aimed at preventing future deaths as it was evident that lessons had been learned.

Related Topics