A dying man was given 24 hours of heart medication in just 20 minutes at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, a coroner has heard.
The death of Peter Wilkinson, 88, led to a murder inquiry at the Whinney Heys Road hospital, until a post-mortem examination concluded the retired engineer died from natural causes.
Detectives were called in following the death of Mr Wilkinson, of Hall Park Drive, Ansdell, on Thursday, August 30, last year. Their enquiry, which ended shortly after, was separate from an ongoing probe into the suspected poisoning of patients on the Vic’s stroke unit.
A pre-inquest review at Blackpool Town Hall heard how Mr Wilkinson had been given a day’s dose of Amiodarone in 20 minutes following issues with an accelerated heart rate the day before he died.
However, experienced pathologist Dr Alison Armour told the court Mr Wilkinson did not die as a result of that mistake.
He had been taken to the hospital by ambulance on August 17 in a confused and disorientated state and suffering from diarrhoea, the hearing was told. A scan later revealed a small bowel obstruction, and Mr Wilkinson had surgery and was moved to the high dependency unit 10 days after being admitted.
He died three days later of faecal peritonitis, a condition where the membrane of the abdomen becomes infected by faeces due to a rupture.
Coroner Alan Wilson said: “The nature of Mr Wilkinson’s condition was such that he was at risk of developing peritonitis, which proved fatal, and effectively this was a death that was a natural disease process.”
Mr Wilson said he would be seeking a statement from the prescribing doctor, who no longer works at the hospital before deciding whether to re-open the inquest.