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.

Latest Stories

Police believe that Arnis Zalkalns may have information that can help them find Alice Gross

Police investigating the disappearance of Hanwell teenager Alice Gross think that another missing person from Ealing might be able to help their enquiries - if they can find him.

Read more
Does he make it through the doors in the nick of time?

Old university friends Noel Carroll and James Heptonstall teamed up to complete the ultimate London fitness challenge - racing the Tube!

Read more
Another photo of the dramatic scene by Dan Webster

Beckenham Hill was engulfed in thick smoke today as a blaze consumed a car parked outside a block of flats.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more