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Hospitals review South Tyneside grandad’s blood-clot death

HOLIDAY TRAGEDY ... Jackson Rowan.

HOLIDAY TRAGEDY ... Jackson Rowan.

HOSPITAL bosses have sent their condolences to the family of a South Tyneside grandfather who died after a holiday mishap.

Jackson Rowan, 69, died after developing a blood clot caused by fracturing his ankle while on holiday in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Mr Rowan, of Wansbeck Road, Jarrow, had been treated at both Darlington Memorial Hospital – the one closest at the time of his accident – and South Tyneside District Hospital.

An inquest, held earlier this week by South Tyneside coroner Terence Carney, heard that medication to prevent his blood from clotting while he was immobilised due to the fracture could have saved his life.

Mr Carney said: “We will never know if this prophylaxis (treatment) would have prevented his death, or indeed that it wouldn’t have, but the chances are that it would.”

Since then, both hospitals have re-evaluated their policies around prescribing such drugs, and health bosses have offered their sympathies to the family of the former butcher.

Dr Alan Rodgers, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, said: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Rowan’s family on their sad loss.

“In Mr Rowan’s case, there was no definite indication at the time for using blood-thinning drugs, and we are confident that he received the appropriate care.

“There has been an ongoing debate, for a number of years, about the use of such drugs in injuries like this, and we have decided to adopt an approach in our trauma clinics and accident and emergency that allows patients to have the choice of having Heparin, following clinical discussion with the doctor involved in their care.”

Heparin is a type of drug used to stop blood clots forming in the blood vessels.

A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust would like to extend our condolences to the family of Mr Rowan.

“As a result of this tragic case, the trust is working through revised national guidelines and is making changes to its practice.

“We hope this may provide some comfort to the family of Mr Rowan, and help prevent similar tragic cases in the future.”

In a narrative finding at the inquest, Mr Carney said: “He died as a result of an inadvertent fall leading to injury and consequent essential immobilisation, but without assessment of the risk of recognised potentially fatal but nonetheless treatable consequences.”

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