Coroner says that doctors were not at fault for Gosport man’s death

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DOCTORS were not to blame for a young man’s death, an inquest has heard.

Michael Leither, 22, from Gosport, died at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, on March 9 of this year from pulmonary embolism, a blockage of an artery in the lung that caused a blood clot to develop in his leg.

We were only there for a short amount of time - there was no X-ray or anything

Linda Leither

Mr Leither was walking to work at The Sailmaker pub when he fell ill and a passer-by stopped to help him. An ambulance was called but he went into cardiac arrest and paramedics were unable to save him.

On January 29, Mr Leither had been taken to QA by his mother, Linda, after he was coughing up blood and also complained about a pain in his thigh, which he was unable to touch.

However, doctors told Mr Leither, who had to take painkillers throughout his childhood due to a growth condition, that it was likely to be a chest infection. He was told to return if anything changed or to visit his own GP.

Ms Leither said: ‘He found his leg hard to touch and wouldn’t let me go near it.

‘We were only there for a short amount of time – there was no X-ray or anything.’

Despite his leg pain not fully recovering, Mr Leither continued to work in his previous job. He then started at The Sailmakers before his death.

In the morning before he died, Ms Leither had a cup of tea with her son.

‘When we took him, his pain was on the scale of 10, then it went down to a scale two with what he was used to.’

‘He said his leg was hurting and I remember saying when he could take his ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Pathologist Doctor Mark Tullet carried out an examination of Mr Leither.

Dr Tullet found that the clots had spread through his blood from the leg.

Doctor Jeet Patel was the general practitioner working at QA that day in January.

Doctor Patel examined Mr Leither after he was given a triage by a nurse and said that Michael showed no signs of blood clots as his oxygen and breathing levels were at a normal rate.

Senior doctor David Cowlishaw said an X-ray might have shown something but it was rare for someone so young to have a blood clot.

Coroner David Horsley concluded at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court that Mr Leither died from natural causes.