Unemployed father, 40, died after injecting drugs despite having heart surgery

A father has died after continuing to inject drugs – despite having heart surgery.

Unemployed Michael Clifford underwent surgery at Royal Stoke University Hospital in April last year.

Rivington Crescent man, 40, Fegg Hayes was released that month after a ‘successful’ procedure to have the prosthetic valve inserted.

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But six months later, he was readmitted to A&E due to endocarditis, a life-threatening condition usually caused by infection.

His condition worsened and he died in hospital on November 10.

Now an inquest has recorded that his death was ‘drug related’.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Ashish Patwala said: ‘He was admitted on October 7. He had been vomiting for two days and hadn’t felt well for two weeks.

“He was given intravenous antibiotics and it was decided that he was not well enough to undergo surgery.

“He continued to deteriorate. His case has been raised.

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“He was a known intravenous drug addict. He continued to inject drugs. Heavy intravenous drug use was a cause of his death.

“The April operation was a success. If it hadn’t been for the continued intravenous drug use, I doubt any problems would have arisen.

Mr Clifford’s inquest heard he had taken a number of medications for his health.

He was previously an alcoholic, drug addict and smoker.

The cause of death was given as 1a. Staphylococcus aureus sepsis with bacteremia. 1b. Prosthetic valve endocarditis and 2. Intravenous drug use.

Area coroner Emma Serrano concluded: “He needed a prosthetic valve.

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“The valve got infected and the treatment didn’t work. It’s clear from the evidence that he had endocarditis. There was no option to replace the valve again. Despite efforts, he died.

“What caused the heart problems was the intravenous drug use. The cause of the infection is the use of intravenous drugs after the operation.

“His death was drug-related.”

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