Inquest: Bounds Green community stalwart’s heart death ‘extremely unlucky’

10:31 25 May 2012

George Theoharous

George Theoharous

Archant

A great-grandfather was “extremely unlucky” to die from a rare heart complication during a routine “innocuous procedure” carried out on thousands of people every year, an inquest heard.

George Theoharous, of Churston Gardens, Bounds Green, appeared to have successfully recovered from a coronary artery bypass operation last November at the Heart Hospital in Marylebone.

He made “excellent clinical progress” after the procedure and was told he could be discharged within days, the inquest at Westminster Coroners’ Court heard last Thursday.

But when having his temporary pacing wires removed on November 14 – a procedure conducted thousands of times at the hospital every year – Mr Theoharous’ heart suddenly stopped, and he died.

David Sanderson, a senior nurse at the Heart Hospital for 10 years, told the court he had removed hundreds of pacing wires – which are used to temporarily maintain a regular heartbeat following a heart operation.

But within seconds of Mr Theoharous having his wires removed, he told Mr Sanderson he felt dizzy and quickly fell unconscious.

Doctors found he had suffered a cardiac tamponade – an extremely rare condition that puts pressure on the heart as fluid accumulates around it.

The court heard that more than 1,750 pacing wires are removed from patients at the Heart Hospital annually, but there had been only one other fatality as a result in the past five years.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said Mr Theoharous, who had suffered from severe coronary artery disease, was “extremely unlucky” to have died.

She said: “The randomness of it is so intensely unfair. It’s quite clear that there does not seem to have been anything that was incorrectly undertaken. It’s just a matter of great tragedy.”

She ruled the death was caused by a complication of necessary surgery.

Mr Theoharous’ son Harry said his father, a retired property company director, was a “great family man” and often organised fundraising barbeques for St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox church in Wightman Road, Harringay.

He said: “He was a big figure in the local community.” Mr Theoharous leaves behind his wife, three children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Just looking at these adorable creatures will warm you up instantly.

Read more

Rita Ora said she’s “excited” about performing at the Oscars.

Read more

She described it as an “energetic release”. TMI Gwynnie. TMI.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

The iconic skeleton is set to be replaced by a giant blue whale skeleton in 2017, and people on Twitter really aren’t happy about it.

Citizens of New England wished they had temperatures “barely getting above freezing”.

That’s English literature, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages, if you didn’t know.

But we’re reassured it’s just the way the schools are counted that’s made the difference.

Quirky London