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Man (47) died hours after visiting A&E, inquest hears

News | Published:

  • Man died hours after leaving hospital
  • 47-year-old had been to A&E with a severe headache and bleeding from the ear
  • He later died after suffering seizure
  • Widow told inquest her husband was in pain ‘like he had never experienced before’

A 47-YEAR-OLD husband who attended accident and emergency complaining of a severe headache and bleeding from the ear died hours after he left hospital, an inquest has heard.

David Auckland, who died after suffering a seizure, visited the Hospital on 14 May last year where he was treated by three senior consultants for an ear infection.

His widow, Bianca, told the inquest that her husband was in pain 'like he had never experienced before'.

He was seen by two senior consultants and was then referred to José De Cordova, consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon at the Hospital, for a third opinion.

Mr Auckland, who had suffered from ear infections most of his life, returned home and went to bed but woke up screaming at around 5.20 am.

He suffered a seizure, fell from the bed and was later pronounced dead at the Hospital.

A post mortem examination found that Mr Auckland, who was originally from Gateshead, was suffering from very early-stage bacterial meningitis – something that experts say had not developed at the time when he first visited hospital.

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It was also found that Mr Auckland, a keen cyclist, had an enlarged heart, which put him at further risk of premature death.

While in hospital, Mr Auckland told staff that he was feeling 'dizzy' and was taken to the ear, nose and throat department in a wheelchair.

During the inquest, which was held on Tuesday, Dr De Cordova, objected to an independent report carried out by a UK consultant, which he said had questioned his competence as a consultant.

He added that he had offered to admit Mr Auckland to the Hospital for further care.

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'Mr Auckland did not show symptoms of meningitis,' Dr De Cordova said.

'I offered him to stay in the Hospital.

'That was not in my clinical notes; however, I have two nurses who can confirm that.

'I did not push him to stay in the Hospital because he looked like a strong person and he assured me that he could come back if it got worse.'

Dr De Cordova said that the incident was 'extremely rare' and added that he had 'never come across a case like it' during his career.

Mrs Auckland asked Dr Adrian Bateman, a consultant histopathologist from the UK who carried out a review of the post mortem examination, whether if CPR had been given instantly, her husband would have survived.

Dr Bateman replied: 'There probably would have been a greater chance, but that is not to say it would have definitely been successful.'

Deputy Viscount Advocate Mark Harris returned a verdict that Mr Auckland had died from bacterial meningitis due to a severe inner-ear infection.

Advocate Harris said: 'The deceased had an enlarged heart and, as such, was at risk of the development of sudden ventricular arrhythmias that may prove fatal.'

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