Bell ringer died from wasp sting
A ‘FIT AND HEALTHY’ grandfather from Wokingham died from severe anaphylactic shock after being stung by wasps in his back garden, an inquest has heard.
David John Creasy, 74, of Arthur Road, died on July 11 this year after being stung while clearing a wasps nest by his patio door.
Mr Creasy was well-known in the local bellringing community, holding the position of tower captain at All Saints Church in Binfield, as well as ringing in various churches around Wokingham.
Speaking at his inquest as Reading Town Hall on Thursday, November 2, his widow Jane told the coroner how the couple had been to the garden centre the previous day with their two young grandchildren. During their visit, Mr Creasy bought some wasp powder to tackle a large nest which had developed on the back of his house.
Mrs Creasy said: “As it was close to the door, we were worried about the children.”
She described the couple having supper at around 7pm, and shortly afterwards she went upstairs to use the computer to send an email to her friend. At around 9.15pm, she heard her husband come inside and call out to her: “I’ve been stung and I don’t feel well.”
“Those were his last words,” Mrs Creasy said, before describing how her husband then collapsed into a chair and fell unconscious.
Discovering that her husband wasn’t breathing and had a very weak pulse, Mrs Creasy called the emergency services, who arrived within 10 minutes.
A crew from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service were first on the scene, and Mr Creasy was moved from the chair to the floor where he was put into the recovery position.
Once South Central Ambulance Service Paramedics arrived a short time later, Mr Creasy had started breathing again but still had a very weak pulse.
Lead paramedic Chloe Small described Mr Creasy’s unusual presentation as ‘nothing I have seen in my 16 years as a paramedic’, as Mr Creasy’s breathing was fairly regular but his heart had stopped.
During the initial emergency treatment, some confusion arose over when the wasp sting took place, with Ms Small estimating that it had happened ‘around six hours’ prior to Mr Creasy’s collapse. The paramedics enrolled him onto a cardiac arrest trial, to determine whether the use of adrenaline would improve his condition. He was treated with high-flow oxygen and intravenous fluids, and given CPR, before being transferred to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
Upon arrival, Mr Creasy suffered a further cardiac arrest and an electrocardiogram (ECG) revealed that although there was electrical activity in his heart, it was not generating a pulse. He was transferred to Intensive Care, where doctors realised the wasp sting had occurred a lot more recently, and he was put on a course of medication to treat the allergic reaction.
Sadly, Mr Creasy’s shock worsened and he suffered multiple organ failure and internal bleeding, and died at 11.45am on July 11.
The assistant coroner for Berkshire, Alison McCormick read a statement by Professor Charles Deakin, Assistant Medical Director for South Central Ambulance Service, who investigated whether the initial use of adrenaline in Mr Creasy’s treatment could have altered the outcome.
In a statement he said: “Although adrenaline is not advised for patients who have recently suffered an allergic reaction, in this case it was entirely appropriate as Mr Creasy was in a state of cardiac arrest. I do not believe that any change in his treatment would have altered the outcome.”
A toxicology report revealed a small amount of honeybee venom in Mr Creasy’s system, and a large amount of wasp venom, consistent with anaphylactic shock.
A post-mortem revealed Mr Creasy had sustained stings to his chest, feet and groin area, despite being fully-clothed when tackling the wasp nest, leading the coroner to suggest that the wasps may have penetrated his clothing or flown into his trouser legs.
Ms McCormick said: “Had Mr Creasy known he was so terribly allergic, he wouldn’t have attempted to treat the wasps nest.”
Speaking immediately after the inquest, Mrs Creasy, who was supported by her daughters Ann and Lynn, and her brother Jeff Broad, said: “David was a wonderful man, a brilliant husband, father and grandfather, who is terribly missed. "He used to work for the Met Office before they relocated, and he enjoyed bell-ringing in the local area, he was the tower captain in Binfield.
Two peals were held for him, a quarter peal at All Saints in Binfield, and a full peal at St Paul's.
“I want to pay tribute to the emergency services, they were all fantastic to David and myself.”
The coroner recorded a cause of death as anaphylactic shock caused by wasp or bee venom, and a verdict of misadventure.