'Mistakes made' in treatment of science teacher who died after tragic classroom accident in Sheffield

Lynsey Haycock (SWNS)
Lynsey Haycock (SWNS)
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Mistakes were made in the treatment of a teacher who died after jumping from a table at a Sheffield school, an inquest heard today.

However, errors in the treatment of Lynsey Haycock at Northern General Hospital are unlikely to have contributed to her death, Sheffield Coroner's Court has been told.

Northern General Hospital, where Lynsey Haycock was treated

Northern General Hospital, where Lynsey Haycock was treated

The 41-year-old mum-of-two had been putting up posters at Forge Valley School, in Stannington, when she landed awkwardly jumping from the desk she was using and broke her leg.

The popular science teacher died in hospital the next morning - on September 2 last year - after her condition suddenly deteriorated and she went into cardiac arrest.

Sheffield Coroner's Court today heard how medics at Northern General Hospital had prescribed an anticoagulant to reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to a pulmonary embolism - a potentially fatal blockage of an artery in the lungs.

Karen Stone, a matron at the hospital, also told how a compression stocking had been prescribed to promote blood flow and reduce the chances of DVT.

Forge Valley School, where Lynsey Haycock taught (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

Forge Valley School, where Lynsey Haycock taught (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

But she said neither the anticoagulant nor the stocking had been administered, due to what she described as 'human error'.

A post-mortem failed to reveal a cause of death but pathologist Dr Julian Burton gave three possible causes, including a genetic heart condition which could have struck at any time.

A pulmonary embolism was not among those three, with Dr Burton saying there was no evidence of a clot when he examined the body.

He said he could not rule this out as a possible cause but it was 'improbable' for there to be no trace of a clot remaining were that the case.

David Thyagarajan, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, told how Mrs Haycock had been admitted to A&E at 4.25pm on September 1 and was given sedation, painkillers and a temporary cast before being transferred to the hospital's surgical assessment centre five hours later.

He said her condition had appeared stable before she was found unresponsive at around 4.30am the following morning. Extensive efforts to resuscitate her failed and she was declared dead at 6.30am.

Mr Thyagarajan said it was 'appropriate' not to administer an anticoagulant since Mrs Haycock was expected to undergo surgery the following day, but this was not listed as a reason on the medical notes.

Matron Stone said the doctor prescribing the medication had not stated when it should be administered, but that if the nurse was in doubt she should have 'pursued' that with the medical team.

"The staff nurse said it was her human error. It wasn't given as an excuse. She openly acknowledged that she should have pursued that but on this occasion she didn't," she said.

Matron Stone told the court the hospital had since put procedures in place to prevent similar mistakes in future.

The court previously heard how Mrs Haycock, who lived in Rotherham, had been a talented teacher who was very popular with staff and students. Her widower Tim Haycock described her as 'very clever, very caring and very strong'.

The inquest continues.

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