Changes could be made when younger patients who have suffered from a cardiac arrest are admitted to Bedford Hospital - following the death of a father and husband.
Bedford Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday how 34-year-old Darryl Leach, of Bromham, died on March 31 after medics switched off his life support machine a week after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at home.
An inquest was held in June but it was adjourned after Mr Leach’s mother raised concerns over the levels of morphine administered to him, which she claimed could have helped him “slip away”.
Doctor Sarah Snape from the anaesthetics department at Bedford Hospital, who helped treat Darryl, gave evidence at the inquest.
She said: “By the time we administered morphine we had already reached the decision that Darryl was not going to recover. We administer morphine when a life support machine is being switched off because it can be very distressing for the family.
“Sometime patients can be seen to be in a lot of distress, so this enables a more peaceful death. It is not there to help anyone slip away ever.”
She added that since Darryl’s death the hospital is looking at carrying out routine tests straight away on some younger patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest.
The inquest heard that Darryl’s wife Kirsty woke up to find Darryl struggling to breathe on March 25 at around 1am. He experienced a downtime of 57 minues where his heart was not beating.
Deputy coroner Bob Amos recorded a narrative verdict that Darryl died after suffering a prolonged cardiac arrest downtime.