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Hove woman dies after heart valve leak, inquest told
An obese woman died after an artificial valve which was inserted during heart surgery leaked.
Queenie Leona Laycock, who had suffered for many years through ill health, had a fatal heart attack three months after major surgery at Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton.
An inquest was told that the former psychiatric nurse of Colbourne Road, Hove, had been housebound for many years.
She suffered with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and kidney problems.
She visited heart specialist Michael Lewis in March 2011 and he decided to operate on her but asked her to lose weight first.
The surgery was eventually carried out in August 2012 and doctors said Ms Laycock responded “well” to the surgery as an outpatient and then at home.
But in November she was rushed back to the Royal Sussex with severe chest pains.
Doctors initially thought she had an infection and Ms Laycock was given strong antibiotics but several days later she had a heart attack and died.
Pathologist Dr David Wright told the hearing that Ms Laycock had very serious health problems but described the valve leak as the “final straw”.
Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said it was difficult to say what caused the leak, but added that if it had been down to a surgical error, the problem would have presented itself before two months.
A cause of death was recorded as cardiac arrest due to severe heart disease contributed to by a valve leak.
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