Woman died of clots after fall down stairs

The following article has been kindly reproduced from the Derbyshire Times 


A woman died three weeks after spraining her ankle in a fall, an inquest heard.

Louise Varley suffered the injury when she slipped down the stairs at her home on Poolsbrook Crescent, Chesterfield.

Mrs Varley was left couch-bound for three weeks, developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in her lung.

The healthcare worker died on the morning of November 9 last year – despite desperate attempts to resuscitate her.

Telling Chesterfield coroners’ court about the day of the fall, October 21, Mrs Varley’s husband Jason said: “She rushed upstairs to tell me the dog had gone missing and said she was going to look for him.

“She then slipped off the bottom step coming down the stairs – I heard her ankle snap and crunch.”

Mr Varley said he took his wife to the A&E department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where she was diagnosed as having a sprained ankle.

He told Monday’s inquest how Mrs Varley, was unable to walk up or down the stairs so she slept on the sofa.

Mr Varley said: “At about 9.30am on November 9, Louise shouted up to me – I knew there was something wrong – so I raced downstairs and found her on the couch.”

The 37-year-old, who was suffering from breathlessness, rolled off the sofa.

Mr Varley and paramedics frenziedly administed CPR on Mrs Varley – but she was later pronounced dead.

Coroner James Newman ruled the DVT and pulmonary embolism came about because she was immobile following the fall.

He said: “This was a very sudden death, a catastrophic event.”

Mr Newman concluded Mrs Varley died as a result of an accident.

• In some cases of DVT, there may be no symptoms, but it is important to be aware of the signs and risk factors, according to the NHS. DVT can cause pain, swelling and a heavy ache in your leg. See your GP as soon as possible if you think you may have a blood clot.

The main symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling faint, dizzy or passing out. You should visit your GP as soon as possible if you have a combination of these symptoms.


The day the Charity Oars met Steve Coogan thanks to @babycowltd and the lovely Zaynab.

Yesterday we travelled from Bedford into the fair city of London again. Just me, both of the Charity Oars and the usual on-lookers who like to find out why there’s a 6 foot chap (smartly attired) with 2 wooden oars on their train…!

The day was finely tuned so I could drop off the Charity Oars to 2 highly respected public figures and return to the comfort of the “old village sweet shop” before the darling commuters started filling the tubes and trains.

Our first stop was at the offices of “Troika” an agency in EC2, where the rather lovely Fern Britton (of the Big Allotment Challenge, This Morning and of course Ready Steady Cook, a programme that has probably caused more excitement in kitchens around the country, since the day Mrs Westers said “oh, I forgot about that, sort of explains the smoke ..!”) frequents when in the Capital. So the first Charity Oar had been delivered …

Off we then went over to W1W to the offices of BabyCow Ltd, where we were met by the wonderfully charming Zaynab. We’d arranged for Steve Coogan to sign the Charity Oars, when he had a break in his schedule. Well, what can we say, Senor Coogan has kindly signed the Charity Oars, and the cards as well as having a rather jaunty photograph taken with the Charity Oars.

It’s a strange sense of “wow” or “blimey” when individuals like Steve Coogan take time out to support causes like the Charity Oars campaign. We’re still a small charity, just trying to raise awareness of blood clots, to try and explain DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms to members of the public, who knows, one of the people I spoke to yesterday on the District Line might well now go on and diagnose a DVT on a friend, a loved one and save their life.

So from Charity Oars to Steve Coogan, Zayab Lamb and the team at BabyCow Ltd “THANK YOU…!!”