INQUESTS were held yesterday into the deaths of two patients at a high-security hospital in Gwent.
Verdicts of death by natural causes were returned by a jury over the deaths of Bertram Wayne Thomas, of Newport, and Diane Susanne Renno of Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.
Mr Thomas, 50, was detained under the mental health act at Llanarth Court Hospital, near Raglan, at the time of his death on June 4 of last year.
The jury at Gwent Coroner’s Court and Gwent coroner David Bowen heard yesterday how Mr Thomas, a patient at the hospital since 1994, was found in a collapsed state on a ward at 9.40am and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He had suffered a heart attack.
Consultant psychiatrist Doctor Adrian Pantlin told the inquest hearing in Newport: “He had a number of prison sentences from burglary, theft to grievous bodily harm and had been in trouble with the law since the age of 14.
“On August 26 1994 he was convicted of robbery and assault and after sentencing at Newport Crown Court was admitted to Ely Hospital, before coming to Llanarth.”
Mr Thomas reported feeling unwell in the month prior to his death but Mr Pantlin said that a check-up revealed that it was nothing untoward. Four days before his death he complained of chest pains whilst out walking and was assisted back to his ward by a staff member.
A pathologist's report concluded Mr Thomas’ death was caused by an acute myocardial infarction.
Diane Renno, 29, had been a patient at Llanarth Court Hospital, near Raglan, for four weeks, when she died of a pulmonary embolism in her bed on July 2 2008, caused by morbid obesity and bronchial asthma.
Miss Renno, a patient in several psychiatric institutions since the age of 18, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder was admitted to Llanarth Court on May 28.
Miss Renno had been convicted of threats to kill and other offences and suffered from asthma, diabetes and was a smoker.
During the last few months of her life she battled weight problems, weighing 23 stone as a result of the side-effects of her medication.
Father Steve Renno said that his daughter appeared incoherent when he visited the hospital days before her death and had concerns surrounding her medication and time spent in bed.
Dr Philip Huckle, consultant psychiatric and medical director at Llanarth Court said there was a care plan in place to address her weight problems.
Dr Huckle said she complained of chest pains on two occasions in April and August 2007 and was taken to hospital with suspected pulmonary embolism but tests proved negative.
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