By Louise Roseingrave
A man who survived a leg amputation following a crush injury in a forklift accident later died of heart complications linked to the incident.
Thomas Brady (aged 63) from Beech Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow was a diabetic, making him much more vulnerable as a patient, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.
The man survived a traumatic crush injury after the hydraulics failed on a forklift he was working on. He suffered severe cuts to the top and side of his left foot.
The accident happened at the rear of his home on July 23, 2016. He phoned his son, called emergency services, the court heard.
The man was airlifted to Tallaght hospital and doctors noted that three of his toes had been partially cut off in the accident. They conducted a partial amputation of his left foot.
However, the man developed sepsis and his medical team later conducted a below the knee amputation on August 5.
The man remained in hospital only to succumb to a cardiac arrhythmia on August 15, 2016. He was pronounced dead at 2.52pm.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as acute cardiac insufficiency secondary to coronary artery disease as a consequence of left knee amputation following a traumatic injury to the left foot.
Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said the man had appeared to be "on the mend". The surgical wound was clean with no evidence of sepsis, the court heard.
“He was unfortunate because he got through the worst of the surgery and the infection, he seemed to be on the mend. An insulin diabetic is a more vulnerable patient than many other patients. Over the years it does a tiny bit of damage every year, in particular to circulation and to the heart,” Dr Cullinane said.
“He had very severe heart disease. The heart goes into an abnormal rhythm and stops beating and they weren’t able to restore circulation. It happened because of everything he’d been through in the previous weeks, the injury, the operation, the infection,” Dr Cullinane said, returning a verdict of accidental death.