Jersey Advocate's death 'could have been prevented'

A Jersey inquest has heard a man might not have died if he had been given a drug to prevent a blood clot.

Advocate Richard Pirie, 53, died on 13 January, two weeks after breaking his ankle playing golf.

Two specialists agreed the death of Advocate Pirie from a blood clot in the lung could have been prevented.

The inquest heard if a hospital doctor had taken the chest pain more seriously he would have been given a drug to prevent a blood clot.

The inquest, which was held in the Old Library in the States building, found Advocate Pirie's death was due to a pulmonary embolism arising from right calf deep vein thrombosis.

New leaflets

The specialists, Prof Samuel Machin and Prof Fares Haddad, provided written evidence for the inquest.

It said had the Advocate been given the drug, there was a 95% chance he would have lived.

Prof Machin and Prof Haddad said the chances of getting a serious blood clot from a broken ankle were slim but the case highlighted how seriously chest pains should be taken.

A spokesman for Jersey's General Hospital told the inquest it now did risk assessments for deep vein thrombosis and had introduced new leaflets pointing out the dangers associated with fractures.

The lawyer representing Advocate Pirie's family, Advocate Matthew Thompson, said: "The family are pleased the hospital have changed their policies and procedures so that this won't happen again.

"It won't bring Richard back and they are obviously disappointed that Richard did not receive the level of treatment that he should have because with that he might be here, but he might not."

He added the family would now consider whether or not to take any action following the inquest's findings.

A spokesperson for Jersey's Health department said: "The Health and Social Services Department express their sympathy to the family and friends of Advocate Pirie.

"Clinicians who work within the hospital are aware of the risks of thrombosis and importance of checking thoroughly for it."

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