Young Mum Died Of Heart Condition After Doctors Dismissed Her Symptoms As Indigestion

28/08/2012 12:19 | Updated 22 May 2015

An inquest into the death of a 28-year-old mum has found she died from a heart condition - despite her doctors telling her she was suffering from nothing more serious than heartburn.

Gemma Jones from Daventry, Northamptonshire, first consulted her doctors after suffering chest pains in October, 2010. She underwent an ECG, but the results were normal.

The mum-of-one went on to experience crushing pains in her arms, abdomen and chest for months, and just three days before her death, was again misdiagnosed with acid reflux.

The inquest was told that if Gemma had undergone another ECG it would have showed an inflammation of the heart caused by a virus.

Her devastated fiance Philip Medhurst - who found Gemma collapsed in bed at their home - slammed the medics who had allegedly ignored her complaints and symptoms and said that she should have been sent for another ECG.

"She said it felt as if someone was applying huge pressure to her chest," he said, "She went back and forth to the surgery but was just told it was acid reflux. The Thursday before she passed away, she went to the surgery again, and again was told it was acid reflux."

However, the last GP Gemma saw, Dr Asma Saad, a GP registrar, told the inquest that she had not mentioned chest pains. Asked if she would have sent Gemma for an ECG if she had complained of them, Dr Saad said: "Definitely. We would have ordered an ECG there and then. It would have rung alarm bells."

An autopsy later showed that Gemma - who had a young son, Harry - had

'chronic inflammation' of her heart from diffused viral myocarditis, a condition which would have been detected by repeating the ECG.

Paramedic Nicola Kirk, who treated Gemma at home when she collapsed, told the hearing she was 'surprised 'the problem had not been diagnosed.

Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of death by natural causes saying she could 'only remember two cases of the condition in 17 years as county coroner.'


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