Heart attack victim left in hospital area 'resembling stockroom'
A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND patient was stripped of his dignity after he suffered a fatal heart attack in the corridor of a hospital's packed A&E department, his widow told an inquest.
Anthony Davies, of Bagnall, was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire on his 64th birthday on January 14 last year.
However North Staffordshire Coroner's Court was told the former steel erector, who was left totally paralysed following a 20ft fall while at work in 1988, was never actually treated. His wife Kathleen Davies, a former pottery worker, said he was taken to an area that resembled "a storeroom" after he was pronounced dead.
She said: "We arrived at about 7pm and were waiting in the corridor. At one point he asked if we could just go home.
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"He later began gasping for breath and then I could tell he was arresting and I shouted for help.
"He made the decision a few years ago that he did not want to be resuscitated and I carried out his wishes.
"It was 11.50pm and I said it was still his birthday and asked if he could go into a cubicle to have some dignity. An animal would have had a more dignified death."
A&E clinical director Magnus Harrison said: "I remember that evening, it was horrendous, it was exceptionally busy.
"Mr Davies should have been seen within an hour which is our quality target. He didn't receive the treatment he should have.
"He should have died in a dignified way, in the way he had lived his life. It's not what I would have wanted for a patient – it was not acceptable."
The inquest heard Mr Davies struggled to clear his chest and cough due to his total paralysis.
A jury recorded a verdict of accidental death with the causes noted as cardiac failure with the spine injury a contributory factor.