Man died after blood clot under cast went to lungs

A MAN who broke his leg and couldn’t move around on his crutches died from a massive blood clot which formed under his cast due to deep vein thrombosis, an inquest heard yesterday.

Cork Coroner’s Court heard that Tony Cronnolly, 55, who lived at 13 Winter’s Hill, Sunday’s Well Road in Cork, had a cast placed on his left leg after breaking his tibia in a fall a few weeks before his death last February.

But Mr Cronnolly found it difficult to get around on the crutches.

Trauma and immobilisation are well-known risk factors for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the inquest heard.

A blood clot formed in Mr Cronnolly’s left calf muscle under his cast and travelled to his lungs forming a saddle embolism which killed him.

Mr Cronnolly’s leg trauma and his immobility were contributory factors leading to formation of the clot, the inquest heard.

His friend, Tony Kenefitck, from Cathedral Road, said they would call on each other regularly to check on each other.

But Mr Kenefick said he became worried when he hadn’t heard from Mr Cronnolly for a few days.

A statement from another witness, Marion McHugh, said she had last seen Mr Cronnolly in his home on the night of February 18.

She said she had a missed call from Mr Cronnolly on her mobile phone in the early hours of February 19.

Mr Kenefick said he hadn’t seen Mr Cronnolly for a few days and rang him a number of times on February 20 but called to his home that morning when he got no answer.

He went into the house and found Mr Cronnolly in slumped on a couch wearing a t-shirt.

He rushed to a friend who called gardaí. He returned a short time later placed a towel over Mr Cronnolly’s legs.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor at 12.30pm.

Garda Aidan Forrest said there were no signs of disturbance in the house.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, said the cause of death was pulmonary embolism after a piece of the clot broke off and travelled to the lungs.

Coroner Myra Cullinane described it as a “catastrophic clot” and said death would have been sudden, probably on February 19.

She recorded a verdict of accidental death. If Tony hadn’t fallen, none of the other factors would have taken place, she said.

Mr Cronnolly’s cast was due to be removed on March 8.

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