Doctors said they have been left baffled after a father-of-seven died of a ruptured spleen despite showing no symptoms before his death.
Thomas Mack, 35, of Willows Lane, Accrington, attended Royal Blackburn Hospital on May 15 this year and was given anti-coagulant injections to treat a possible blood clot in his lungs.
Blackburn Coroners Court heard how his blood clotting level was more than 20 times the normal amount and he was previously treated for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
However two days later he collapsed at his mum’s house and was rushed back to hospital where he died later that day.
Pathologist Dr Richard Prescott told an inquest at Blackburn Coroners Court how a post mortem examination found a 2.5 litre blood clot in his abdomen following a ruptured spleen.
However Dr Prescott said there was ‘no underlying pathological cause’ for the spleen to be enlarged and ‘no infections, cancers or tumours’ were found.
He told the hearing: “The bottom line is I can’t tell you why that spleen is enlarged. Everything was pointing towards a blood clot on the lungs.
“Ruptured spleens are usually traumatic and large spleens of this size you should find some underlying pathology so it’s very unusual.
“I have never come across a case like this.
“I have talked to my other colleagues and they haven’t.
“It’s extremely unusual and unfortunate.”
The inquest heard how Mr Mack’s anti-coagulant treatment had worked and his blood clotting level had dropped down to three times the normal level.
Dr Prescott said that the blood thinning had contributed to the amount of bleeding in the spleen.
However he added: “The treatment for the blood clot was the correct thing to do because he presented with chest pain and low oxygen and had a history of DVT.
“ That had to be done.”
Recording a natural cause of death, assistant coroner Elaine Block said it was a ‘very, very unusual case’.
She said: “At that stage there was no signs of anything wrong with the spleen.
“There is no obvious signs for what has happened, no obvious sign that it happened, but it happened.
“No one really could’ve done anything about it within all reasonable bounds.”