Inquest puts medical treatment under the microscope


A family are hoping for some much needed answers regarding the medical treatment of their son who tragically died in 2009.

On Wednesday 16th March, HM Coroner for North Northumberland, Mr Tony Brown will reopen the Inquest into the death of Charles James Lowden. Charles died on 9th December 2009, aged 20. He is thought to have died from blood clots on his lungs, originating from the veins in his leg. The inquest will investigate the circumstances of the death and whether it could have been prevented.

Charles’ death has given rise to deep concerns about his medical treatment over the preceding weeks. He had had a simple hernia operation on 11th November. He was rushed to Wansbeck Hospital by ambulance on 27th November, where he was admitted and underwent tests but was discharged the next day. His complaints were of shortness of breath, intense chest pain and he had had raised pulse rate and abnormal blood tests. The blood tests were attributed by doctors to his earlier surgery, and his pain was wrongly diagnosed as muscular pain.

One of the questions for the Inquest is whether his symptoms on 17th November were the result of an earlier clot.

Attending the Inquest will be Mr and Mrs Lowden, Emma Taggart who was Charles’ partner at the time, and family members. The family is represented by Simpson Millar Solicitors.

Mrs Lowden said: "We have waited a long time for the Coroner’s independent enquiry into our son’s death. We are already on record expressing our dissatisfaction with the treatment he received, and we hope that the Inquest will be the first step for us in reaching some sense of accountability for his death. We will have a clearer picture once all the evidence has been heard."

Neil Fearn of Simpson Millar said: "The Lowden family have always felt that the Trust’s own enquiry into the death of their son was not an adequate response to such a tragic outcome. The Coroner’s Inquest is therefore an opportunity for them to hear independent expert evidence about what happened, and, we hope, a means of identifying what steps must be taken to prevent another death in similar circumstances."

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