Ex-Preston Grasshopper and Fylde ace died after collapsing outside Royal Preston Hospital, inquest told

A former Preston and Fylde rugby player died of natural causes after being taken to hospital suffering with breathlessness, an inquest into his death has revealed.

By Laura Longworth
Friday, 13th May 2022, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 6:16 pm

David James Treasure, who played for Preston Grasshoppers, died of cardiac arrest aged 67 at Royal Preston Hospital on February 3 at 5.40am.

Several medics missed opportunities to give him medication and share information about his health on the day he died, Preston Coroner’s Court heard.

But area coroner Chris Long ruled taking those opportunities would not have prevented his death, as David’s heart was already too badly damaged from previous events.

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Preston Coroner's Court, Faraday Court, Fulwood

Mr Long said: “I haven’t found any culpable human failure that has contributed to Mr Treasure’s death. In those circumstances, I’m going to conclude: death by natural causes.”

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Paramedics John Mitchell and Yvonne Barret attended David’s home as he was suffering from breathlessness, and carried out an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check his heart, which showed abnormalities.

Mr Michell says he did not give blood-thinners to David, as he was busy trying to reassure him it was safe to go to hospital despite Covid fears.

The paramedics say they opted to take him to his local hospital, Royal Preston, over a specialist in Blackpool because he did not have heart attack symptoms.

When they arrived at urgent care, nurse Sophie Bacon deemed David fit to sit in the waiting room and he was not prioritised for immediate treatment. Unaware of the abnormal ECG, a doctor later discharged the pensioner without giving him blood-thinners, as he showed no heart attack signs.

But as Mr Treasure made his way home, he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed outside the hospital. Medics could not resuscitate him.

There was a dispute in court over whether paramedic Yvonne passed Mr Treasure’s ECG results on to nurse Sophie.

Dr Katherine Davies, an A&E specialist, said ECG information is now being shared with clinicians electronically rather than by paper to help eliminate future communication breakdowns.

Dr Ian James Scofield, a consultant cardiologist, also claimed blood-thinners would have only helped David in the mid-to-long term but not in emergencies due to previous damage to his heart.

David’s wife, Nancy Treasure, paid tribute to her husband, calling him a “champion of industry” and a “talented sportsman”. He leaves behind his two daughters, Emma Treasure and Suzanne Parkinson.