Letchworth man ‘anxious’ before heart attack, inquest hears

An inquest was held today to establish the circumstances that led to Darren Levy's death

An inquest was held today to establish the circumstances that led to Darren Levy's death - Credit: Archant

A man’s anxieties worried medical staff more than his asthma in the lead-up to a heart attack, an inquest heard yesterday (Thursday).

Darren Levy, 40, suffered a cardiac arrest on February 13 at Lister Hospital, Stevenage, several days after being admitted with breathing problems.

After the heart attack, Mr Levy, from Letchworth, fell into a vegetative state from which he never recovered and died a month later.

An inquest was launched yesterday (Thursday) to explain the circumstances that lead to his death and see if anything could have prevented it.

Coroner Dr Frances Cranfield, who is presiding over the case, said the purpose of the inquest was to establish the facts surrounding Mr Levy’s death and not to apportion blame.


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The inquest heard evidence from staff nurse Alison Shoard who was on the 7.30pm to 8am shift on the ward that Mr Levy was situated. She stated that he was talking in full sentences throughout the whole shift but complained about chest pains and seemed very anxious.

“He complained about a having chest pains so I administered his prescribed medication and monitored him,” she said.

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She added that he was anxious about a family matter and said: “I think I was with him for more than half of my shift.

“A lot of the time was spent just talking and that seemed to calm him down. I clearly remember this gentleman because he was so mentally ticked and anxious.”

Another staff member that spoke to Mr Levy was critical care nurse Amy Hornblow.

She said: “When I saw Darren he wasn’t pleased to see me because someone had told him he was going back to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which is where I was from.

“He sat on the end of his bed and told me to leave him alone because he did not want to go to ICU.”

However, at his point they were not overly concerned about his condition because his heart rate and blood pressure were all within normal ranges, Ms Hornblow said.

The inquest resumes at 10am today when it will hear the evidence of two more doctors before a verdict is recorded.

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