Neglect ruled out in heart death

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A retired policeman died without seeing a doctor five hours after being admitted to hospital, an inquest heard.

Michael Poad, 64, was rushed to hospital after waking in the middle of the night with acute abdominal and chest pains.

He was admitted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro shortly after 3am on December 15, 2009, but was not seen by a doctor and died later that morning.

At the inquest into his death, coroner Dr Emma Carlyon ruled neglect had played no part in Mr Poad’s death, despite family concerns that a lack of diagnosis had contributed to his death.

The hearing was told Mr Poad, from Sticker in Cornwall, had been given a dose of morphine by paramedics on his way to hospital after suffering what he described at the time as “the worst pain ever”.

He was seen by a nurse within 15 minutes of arriving at hospital.

An hour later, Mr Poad was given a second dose of morphine. His pain subsided but it returned later that morning, prompting him to beg for painkillers which were never administered. He was seen by a doctor at 8.10am when he suffered cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 8.30am.

It was later found Mr Poad had a dissected aneurysm of the ascending aorta, a tear in the blood vessel leading up to the heart.

The inquest resumed yesterday after being adjourned in May when Mr Poad’s family called for an independent expert to comment on the case.