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Sheffield woman, aged 48, died after slipping on icy pavement

Langsett Avenue, near Hillsborough, where Andrea Hicks fell and fractured her ankle in icy conditions on January 19 (pic: Google)
Langsett Avenue, near Hillsborough, where Andrea Hicks fell and fractured her ankle in icy conditions on January 19 (pic: Google)
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A 48-year-old woman died of a blood clot two weeks after slipping on an icy Sheffield street and breaking her ankle, an inquest heard.

Andrea Hicks fractured her left ankle when she slipped and fell on January 19, not far from her home on Langsett Avenue near Hillsborough.

She was treated for her injuries but was found dead at home two weeks later on February 1 after her reduced mobility led to her developing a pulmonary thromboembolus - a blood clot on her lung.

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An inquest into her death today heard how she had received the 'appropriate' care but there was sadly always a small risk with such injuries of developing potentially fatal blood clots.

Coroner David Urpeth said: "I've heard clear evidence that the treatment provided following the ankle fracture was appropriate and in line with what other patients who have sustained this injury have received.

"Sadly there's a risk of thromboembolus following fractures which is well recognised...

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"That being said, Ms Hicks died at a very young age and that's a tragedy for her as well as all her family she leaves behind."

Mr Urpeth, who was sitting at Sheffield Coroner's Court, recorded a conclusion of 'accidental death'.

Carolyn Chadwick, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, had told the court how despite much research there was still no clear evidence about when anticoagulants should be prescribed, and in what doses and for how long they should be given, to prevent blood clots in such cases.

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She said: "We see hundreds and hundreds of patients with ankle fractures in the same situation, most of whom won't be given an anticoagulant, although some will be.

"We've known people to be on anticoagulants and for this sad outcome to still be the case.

"Despite much large scale research looking into the incidence no one knows when anticoagulants should be given, or how much to take and for how long.

"It's still very much up to an individual decision on a case-by-case basis."

Hospital bosses in Sheffield told earlier this year how treacherous black ice on the day Ms Hicks fell had put huge demand on A&E services that day, as more than 100 people attended the Northern General Hospital's emergency department with breaks and fractures.