Heart attack victim told ‘take paracetamol’

Gary Edgar was found dead on the floor of his home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Gary Edgar was found dead on the floor of his home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A MAN died of a heart attack just hours after twice being sent home from hospital and told to take paracetamol.

Gary Edgar, 31, went to an accident and emergency department after suffering severe pains in his arms and chest.

His family claim he was sent home by staff at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, and told to take the painkiller.

The pains got worse, but when he returned to the hospital three hours later he was sent away with the same advice.

The following day he was found dead on the floor of the home he shared with two of his brothers in Coatbridge.

His mother, Elaine Boyle, 50, said: “I’m not happy with how my son was treated and I’m taking this further. I put in a formal complaint against the doctor who sent my son away.

“I just don’t understand how this was allowed to happen.

“The hospital should have admitted him to do tests or at least kept him under observation. His heart should have been monitored and because it wasn’t, my son is now dead. Surely someone at the hospital should have thought ‘this guy’s been up here already and we sent him home, let’s get him checked out.’

“Losing my son has been terrible and I don’t want this to happen to another family.”

Mother-of-four Ms Boyle said her son was teetotal and would regularly go cycling. She added: “I couldn’t believe when I was told Gary had died. He was a fit guy who went to the gym, cycled and took the dog out walking every day.”

Gary’s brother Colin, 32, who accompanied him to the hospital and discovered his lifeless body, said a doctor who saw him blamed the pains on stress.

He said: “He had already been to the hospital that day but told me it was getting worse so I said we had to go back up. The receptionist obviously realised it was urgent and Gary was seen quickly, but the doctor sent him back out within minutes.

“The doctor said it was nothing and probably caused by stress. Gary couldn’t drive by this time because he had a sore head. I had to ask for his blood pressure to be taken. They said it was slightly high but no cause for concern and told him to take more paracetamol.

“The doctor wasn’t for listening and as soon as you raise your voice in a hospital you are arrested these days. If they had done what they were supposed to do he would still be here today.”

A spokesman for NHS Lanarkshire said: “We appreciate that this must be a very distressing time. While we cannot discuss individual cases, we can confirm that we have been in contact with Ms Boyle and this matter is being dealt with through our formal complaints process.

“We have offered to meet Ms Boyle to discuss her concerns.”