Man, 51, dies after hot fishcake burns his throat causing it to swell and suffocate him in freak accident

Man, 51, dies after hot fishcake burns his throat causing it to swell and suffocate him in freak accident

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A MAN died after a hot fishcake burned his throat – causing him to tragically suffocate as his voice box swelled, an inquest heard.

Darren Hickey, 51, suffered the burn as he left the wedding venue he managed in Lancashire, when he was asked to try the freshly cooked food.

SWNS:South West News Service

Darren Hickey died after eating a hot fishcake as he went home for the night from the wedding venue he owned[/caption]

Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh heard how Mr Hickey – who had suffered a serious stroke seven years ago – visited the Urgent Care ward at Chorley Hospital.

He had complained of throat pain to his partner, Neil Parkinson, on the afternoon of April 4.

But he was sent home with paracetamol and advice to return if the pain increased. His voice box swelled and within a few hours he stopped breathing.

Mr Parkinson told the inquest he heard his partner making noises and found him choking.

He said: “He shouted so I ran upstairs. He was stood up choking and coughing so I banged his back but then he slid forward onto the floor.”

Dr Patrick Waugh, the pathologist who performed Mr Hickey’s post-mortem examination, told Bolton Corner’s Court the case was very rare.

“Basically, we normally see this scenario in people who are involved in house fires with inhalation of smoke which burns the airways or in industrial accidents with hot steam.

“The patient can appear well, they will be talking to you, but then the swelling starts.”

STROKE TRAGEDY

The horrifying death happened seven years after the former maitre d’ suffered a massive stroke which left him in hospital for 18 months, and some difficulty walking and speaking.

Despite this Mr Hickey channelled much of his energy into charity work was handed the Inspirational Person of Courage Award by the Stroke Association.

Mr Walsh said: “He was enormously positive and enormously caring and gave to charity – he was a very generous, caring and compassionate man.

“He was a remarkably strong and resilient man to overcome that stroke.”

The coroner added the case had raised questions about the care at Chorley Hospital’s Urgent Care ward – run by GTD Healthcare as an extra unit to take pressure away from A&E.

Mr Hickey had been seen by a practitioner in this ward who also contacted a specialist from the Ear, Nose and Throat unit at Preston Hospital.

But they were unable to find the damage – as it was too far down his throat to be seen without specialist equipment.


Samuel Eaton, head of services for GTD in the region, and Matthew Gaunt, from NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group, told the coroner a full review would be carried out.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Walsh said: “I believe there are enormous lessons to be learned.

“This was caused by eating a fishcake, very small and very hot but with catastrophic consequences. I find this an immense tragedy.”

SWNS:South West News Service

The wedding venue owner died after he ate a too hot fishcake and his throat swelled[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

The coroner at his inquest ruled his tragic death to be accidental[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

Mr Hickey with his partner Neil Parkinson who found him choking after his throat began to swell[/caption]

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