Inquest is held into death of Pool-in-Wharfedale football referee Christopher Leggatt (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Inquest is held into death of Pool-in-Wharfedale football referee Christopher Leggatt
9:00am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
The grieving family of a father-of-four has been told he might still be alive were it not for a healthcare “lottery”.
Christopher Leggatt, 65, of Pool-in-Wharfedale, died after collapsing as he was refereeing a football game in Esholt on Sunday, September 23, 2012.
He was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary, arriving at 4.14pm.
Diagnosed with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, he was then transferred – as there were no surgeons available – to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. But Mr Leggatt suffered a cardiac arrest en route and, though he was revived, his heart stopped again before he could be operated on. He died at Huddersfield at 6.15pm.
A belated inquest was triggered when his family lodged a formal complaint.
At Bradford Coroners’ Court yesterday, assistant coroner Dominic Bell read a statement by one of Mr Leggatt’s daughters, Andrea, stating: “If he’d been on the operating table within 30 minutes or sooner he’d be alive today, the statistics say. We need to know if it would have been a different story if it had happened during the week, when surgeons would have been at BRI.”
Paul Needham, a surgical registrar with Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust at the time, said: “Our vascular surgical cover that day was provided by Huddersfield. Our view was that a blue-light ambulance transfer would be more rapid than having a surgeon driving across (to Bradford).”
Consultant vascular surgeon at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, Anver Mahomed, told the inquest Bradford and Huddersfield infirmaries took turns to provide acute care cover as part of a formal network arrangement. Mr Bell said: “I am satisfied the decision to transfer the patient, though clearly associated with some risk, was appropriate. The original assumption that this death was from natural causes must still stand.
“The family will inevitably find it distressing to know that if the vascular surgery team had been at Bradford Mr Leggatt would have expected earlier surgery and, on the balance of probabilities, would have survived. That, however, is not an issue that can appropriately be addressed by the individuals in this room.”
He told Mr Leggatt’s widow Sue and daughter Andrea he sympathised with their “loss and ongoing distress about an outcome that was the result, in a sense, of a lottery – of a certain degree of chance.”