Sports radio star Johnny Lyons' death prompts pamphlet about potentially fatal blood clots to be issued
Patients at a Dublin fracture clinic will be warned of the risk of clots in future following the death of a popular radio DJ at age 49.
Johnny Lyons of Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1 was a sports editor at 98fm and had his own radio show on Today FM.
The broadcaster was found dead at his home on August 19 2015. He’d suffered a small fracture and ligament damage to his left knee following a fall on a wet floor on July 19.
He died of heart failure due to blood clots in the lung while recovering from his injury.
Mr Lyons’ brother Maurice Lyons welcomed the news that a pamphlet will be issued to patients attending outpatient orthopaedic clinics at the Mater Hospital warning of the risk of potentially fatal blood clots.
“The family is devastated to learn of the medical circumstances around the death of Johnny Lyons. We are thoroughly satisfied by the narrative verdict delivered by the coroner,” Maurice Lyons said.
Mr Paul Moroney, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Mater Hospital said while the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis is rare (between 0.3% and 5%,) staff were working on a pamphlet to be distributed to warn patients of the potential risk.
Asked by the coroner if the pamphlet will specifically warn of the risk of clots, Mr Moroney replied “I think that it should so I will see to it that it does.”
Mr Moroney said patients placed in a cast are given a pamphlet while patients placed in a Donjoy brace, as Mr Lyons was, are currently not.
Nurse Eleanor McMahon saw Mr Lyons at the fracture clinic in the Mater on July 24 and the brace was applied.
He was advised not to put weight on the knee for the following four weeks and to contact the clinic if he needed to.
There were no apparent risk factors in his case, Mr Moroney said, noting that patients with obesity, co-existent cancer, over 60 or on the contraceptive pill are at greater risk of developing thrombosis.
Mr Lyons was given crutches to aid his mobility during recovery and released. He was recovering well until the weekend before his death, the inquest heard.
He developed pain and discomfort in his leg around August 15. He did not contact the clinic about the pain because he had an appointment to be reviewed at the clinic on August 21 and was waiting for that, the court heard.
He was found dead at his Dublin city centre apartment on August 19 2015.
The cause of death given at autopsy was acute cardiac insufficiency secondary to occlusive pulmonary emboli in the context of immobilisation post a lower limb fracture.
Concluding the inquest into his death at Dublin Coroner’s Court, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a narrative verdict setting out the circumstances of his death.