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 London news

Sunday, August 2, 2015
Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash to come forward

A nine-year-old who suffered severe head injuries after being hit by a car in Barking is now fighting for his life in hospital.

Monday, August 3, 2015
This 15-year-old girl, Reneisha Brown, has been missing since July 31 (Picture: Met Police)

A 15-year-old girl, Reneisha Brown, was last seen in Bounds Green on July 31 and police have now launched an appeal to find her.

Sunday, August 2, 2015
A woman, 35, was found with severe stab wounds before being pronounced dead at the Chelsea address

A woman died from stab wounds early this morning in Chelsea and police have launched a murder investigation.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Brazil Day in Trafalgar Square is always a colourful event (Picture: Fernando Arroteia)

The Olympic Games are heading to Rio in 2016 (yes, we can’t believe it will be four years since London 2012 either) and the hype is already building. Join thousands in Trafalgar Square to celebrate Brazil Day and get a taste of what the vibrant country has to offer.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Thornton Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Two women were attacked and made hostages in their own home in a terrifying raid on their Hampstead Garden Suburb house.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more