Published Date: 03 July 2009 By Garth ApThomas
A CORONER has recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest held into the death of a 40-year-old Wrexham mother.
A post mortem examination found that she had died as a result of a haemorrhage involving the pituitary gland, which plays a key role in the body's hormonal system.
The inquest was told a post mortem examination had been conducted by Dr Anthony Burdge.
Giving evidence, Dr Burdge said that it was probable the bleeding had been caused as a result of thinning of the blood and not a trauma such as a fall.
Contributory factors in Mrs Richardson's death had been Cushing's disease, a very rare condition involving a hormone disorder, and bronchial pneumonia.
The court was told by Mrs Richardson's husband, Andrew, that his wife had started to experience ill health, including swollen legs and constant backache.
Her mobility was badly affected. Mrs Richardson was admitted to the Maelor Hospital.
Consultant physician Dr Stephen Stanaway said that as part of the treatment, Mrs Richardson received a small dose of a blood-thinning drug to help ensure she did not fall victim to clots.
She had been given a scan involving the pituitary and there was no evidence of a tumour.
It transpired the post-mortem had found Mrs Richardson did have a tumour, which had experienced bleeding.
Dr Stanaway said that Mrs Richardson had not liked the scanning process and moved at one point – it was important for patients to remain still.
Acting coroner John Gittins asked if Mrs Richardson would have been administered with blood thinner if the tumour had been known about at the time of treatment.
Dr Stanaway said it would have to be a balanced decision but he felt that she would have been.
Legal representatives for Mrs Richardson's family and the NHS Trust were present at the inquest. Dr Stanaway was asked a series of questions about whether anything further could have been done about Mrs Richardson's treatment while at the Maelor.
He said that with hindsight the only potential other avenue may have been if she had been given steroids.
But Dr Stanaway stressed he doubted this would have been successful, emphasising Mrs Richardson was a very poorly woman and it would be impossible to say that administering steroids would have saved her.
Recording his verdict of accidental death Mr Gittins emphasised: "This is not an indication of responsibility, blame or judgement.
"That is not my jurisdiction.
My very sincere condolences go to the family."