Gosport dad died after blood clot was left untreated at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth

Stephen Mayoll
Stephen Mayoll

From broken bones to new beginnings

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THE heartbroken family of Stephen Mayoll say more should have been done to save his life.

Mr Mayoll died after a blood clot formed in his leg and travelled to his lung following a heel injury.

The clot had been spotted in a scan at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, but he was reassured it was nothing to worry about.

But later it travelled through his body to his lungs and he had a cardiac arrest.

Mr Mayoll died the next day, aged just 44.

An inquest into his death found mistakes were made at QA in the way he was treated.

Since his death in June last year Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has made changes to the procedures highlighted as problems by the inquest.

But his family say more should have been done.

His wife Janine said: ‘We thank the hospital trust for admitting their failings which led to Stephen’s death.

‘But as a family we will always feel that more should have been done when Stephen had returned to hospital.’

The inquest heard that Mr Mayoll, of Shackleton Road, Gosport, was treated after an ultrasound scan confirmed his tendon was ruptured.

Ms Mayoll said: ‘We saw a note which mentioned a haematoma (blood clot).

‘But when we said to the doctor about it, he told us it was nothing to worry about.

‘He said the treatment for the tendon injury was the most important thing.’

Mr Mayoll had his leg put into an walking boot which allows mobility as the foot heals.

But just days after having the boot put on a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) formed in his leg. It travelled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in the artery which feeds the lungs.

He was taken to QA on June 21 after suffering cardiac arrest and died in hospital in the early hours of June 22.

Ms Mayoll added: ‘Stephen was a lovable, generous and fun man who people loved to be around.

‘He was a devoted family man who was adored by his wife, two daughters and the rest of his family including four young grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by his family and many close friends.’

At the inquest, questions were raised by the family about the treatment Mr Mayoll received and why scans were not done to detect a DVT.

But hospital officials from the fracture clinic said it was national and trust guidelines to only test for DVT when the patient was going into a full plaster cast.

They said Mr Mayoll didn’t meet the requirement and a scan wasn’t needed.

Not having a scan meant he wasn’t given anticoagulant medication which helps prevent blood clots.

In his conclusion, coroner David Horsley said: ‘Stephen’s death resulted from complications to his injury and his treatment at the hospital.

‘He did not fulfil the criteria for anticoagulant therapy.

‘In consequence he did not receive such therapy which on the balance of probabilities would have stopped these problems from arising.’

Since his death, guidelines have been changed both nationally and at the hospital to ensure all patients with a similar injury treated with either a walking boot or full plaster cast are scanned for DVT and given anticoagulants.

The inquest heard that when Mr Mayoll visited the hospital, wrong dates were put on notes and records of what he was being treated for weren’t kept.

Now, the hospital does regular spot-checks and audits are carried out.

A spokesman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘We accept the coroner’s conclusion and offer the family sincere condolences.

‘We give reassurance that changes have already been made both internally in the trust and nationally across the NHS since June 2013, which will safeguard against future cases of this kind.’

Coroner will write recommendations for hospital

CORONER David Horsley will write a report stating how QA Hospital can make improvements in light of Stephen Mayoll’s death.

At the inquest, Mr Horsley said despite changes already made at the hospital in Cosham, more could be done to prevent future deaths. He said: ‘The hospital should look at revising its deep vein thrombosis assessment for out-patients.

‘A risk assessment should be completed when there is a change in treatment or if problems are reported by the patient with the current treatment. Also, there needs to be a quicker turnover in hand-made notes to be put in the system for staff to access.’