Inquest told of years of drug abuse

AN out-of-work painter and decorator died after years of drug abuse, an inquest heard.

Paramedics attended Michael Osborne’s mother’s home after he complained of breathlessness.

But despite medics efforts, the 32-year-old died at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, on April 12.

Hartlepool Coroner’s Court heard Mr Osborne, a drug user, had had a pacemaker fitted and two coronary artery valves fitted.

Town coroner Malcolm Donnelly said: “The big thing was he abused drugs and had done since 2001 and had repeat medication including Subutex, Tramadol and aspirin.”

Mr Donnelly said Mr Osborne had been in hospital in February, where he was found to have an enlarged spleen.

In the early hours of the day he died, he complained of feeling unwell.

His mother found him unconscious at her home in Flint Walk and phoned an ambulance.

A doctor’s statement said medics worked as hard as they could but they could not save him.

Mr Donnelly said consultant pathologist Kaushik Dasgupta gave the cause of death as valvular endocarditis, an infection of the heart which can destroy valves.

He added that Mr Osborne, of Furness Street, Hartlepool, also had a lung abcess which was linked to chronic intravenous drug use.

Mr Osborne’s mum, Yvonne, indicated that she knew about valvular endocarditis.

She said: “It’s caused by injecting and takes vegetation to the valves of the heart.”

Mr Donnelly said: “Infection is caused and latches onto the heart, that’s precisely what Dr Dasgupta found.

“It’s a serious condition if it’s not got early and in 30 per cent of the cases even if it’s got early, it’s fatal.”

Mr Osborne’s mum said: “That’s what he went in with in 2009, they saved his life.

“He was told it was the injecting that causes it.”

Mr Donnelly recorded a verdict of non-dependent abuse of drugs.

He said: “It might have taken some years to do but your son was only young and I’m afraid there was 10 years of this damage to the body, and he had a disposition to infection.”