Forestdale father died from blood clot a month after breaking his ankle
A DAD of four died less than a month after breaking his ankle while walking his dog.
George Wilson, 61, of Linton Glade, in Forestdale, suffered a fractured fibula on December 16 and underwent an operation at the Princess Royal Hospital in Orpington on December 30.
But he developed a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and died 11 days into the new year after suffering a heart attack.
Speaking at Mr Wilson's inquest last Thursday, his orthopedic consultant Max Edwards explained that the risks of this happening had been "incredibly low".
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He explained that due to Mr Wilson's age, he was given an injection after the operation, which is reduce the risk of contracting DVT.
Describing the operation to repair Mr Wilson's ankle, Mr Edwards told Croydon Coroner's Court: "This is a relatively straightforward procedure which in my opinion would give a relatively low risk of DVT compared to major orthopedic surgery.
"Any operation clearly involves risks and the risks were discussed."
Mr Edwards told the court that the hospital had followed guidance to prevent a blood clot.
He added: "In terms of reducing the risk of DVT, one of the main things is to get the patient mobile and get them up and walking.
"I think that's probably the most important thing.
"Swelling can be a sign of DVT – every patient that goes into the plaster room is given advice about what they can do to reduce the risk of swelling."
Delivering a narrative verdict and addressing the family in court, Dr Palmer said: "I'm very sorry you lost him in such sad circumstances."
Speaking after the inquest, Mr Wilson's son Nik, 30, said the family was seeking to take legal action.
He said: "I'm very concerned because it shouldn't have happened. When you break an ankle walking the dog you don't expect to die from it.
"I want to know that this isn't going to happen again, I can't bear to think of another family going through what we've been through.
"We're going to take it as far as we can. He was advised high elevation to reduce the swelling and he followed the verbal advice conscientiously.
"Then they tell us today he should have been mobile. This should have been mentioned from the start, and wasn't."
Paying tribute to his dad – who worked for English Heritage and made headlines in December 2006 when he chased off a knife- wielding burglar – his son added that he was "a fantastic guy".
Nik said: "We held the funeral and there were over 300 people there.
"Dad was very unique and quirky, he always wore odd socks. He was very much into music and used to play the guitar. He had lots of plans for the future."
Nik added his family urged anyone due for surgery to "insist on a full risk assessment" – particularly with regard to blood clotting – before their operation.