Inquest Concludes That Man Would Have Survived If Condition Had Been Identified By Doctors Before Discharge
A family is campaigning to raise awareness of the signs of a torn aorta after an inquest heard doctors concluded their loved one did not have the life-threatening condition two days before his death and decided against performing a definitive test to exclude this.
Former Fleet Street advertising executive Andy Wing was pronounced dead shortly after he was found collapsed in a hotel room by his wife Briege on Tuesday, 15 January, 2019.
Two days previously Andy, 66, had visited A&E at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, with chest pain. He was discharged several hours later after doctors believed his pain was probably muscular, an inquest was told.
The couple, who had been visiting family, checked into a hotel that evening as Andy said he was in too much pain to drive home to Hythe in Kent, following his discharge. Andy continued to be in severe pain and remained at the hotel until his collapse on 15 January 2019.
He died as a result of an aortic dissection – also known as a torn aorta.
Following Andy’s death, Briege age 66 instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to obtain answers and support her through an inquest process.
Briege has now spoken of the impact the loss of her husband has had on her family.
It comes after an inquest at Surrey Coroner’s Court concluded that Andy’s symptoms were sufficient enough for a CT scan to be carried out. If the scan had been conducted his torn aorta would have been diagnosed, Andy would have undergone emergency surgery and he would have survived, coroner Caroline Topping ruled.
Rachel Osborne, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Briege said after the hearing: “Briege and the rest of Andy’s family have been left devastated by what has happened. Understandably they had a number of questions about the events that unfolded in the lead up to Andy’s sudden death and sadly the inquest has validated those concerns.
“A torn aorta is an extremely dangerous condition and it is vital that people are aware of the signs and the importance of receiving appropriate medical treatment as quickly as possible and that medical professionals consider the possibility of aortic dissection as early as possible. It can make the difference between life and death.
“We will continue to support Briege and her family at this incredibly distressing time.”
Briege was married to Andy for 42 years. They have two sons aged in their 30s.
Briege said: “Andy was fit and healthy. He swam regularly and visited the gym several times a week. He had not been to a GP for around six years and hadn’t been to A&E for around 40 years. He was very concerned during his attendance at hospital, but felt that he had been dismissed.
“It was only after Andy died and when I read aortic dissection on his interim death certificate that I heard of the phrase.
“Andy was such a kind, loving and generous man who adored his family. I have lost a husband and a marriage that was deeply precious to me. My sons have lost their beloved father.
“No words will do justice to what Andy meant to us. The last year and dealing with the intense shock of coming to terms with how Andy was suddenly taken from us has been difficult beyond belief.
“While we know that nothing can bring him back, we needed to honour his memory by establishing the answers that he deserved.
“All we can hope for now is that Andy’s death is used to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of an aortic dissection.
“I wouldn’t wish the anguish and pain our family is going through on anyone else.”
An inquest at Surrey Coroner’s Court was told that an aortic dissection was considered by doctors but ruled out. A specific CT scan which could have diagnosed a torn aorta was not carried out.
Following his death Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Peter’s Hospital, carried out a serious untoward incident investigation.
Andy was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, His dad Ron was a leading pharmacist and played a key role in introducing ibuprofen. He was awarded the CBE.
Andy moved to London in the 1970s and worked for News Group International for a number of years before setting up his own company.
The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion.