Coroner makes recommendations following death of Sheffield teenager Scott Marsden

Scott Marsden.
Scott Marsden.
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A coroner is recommending that the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) clarifies it rules on medical support at events following the death of a 14-year-old.

Scott Marsden, from Sheffield, collapsed in the final round of a fight in Leeds in March 2017 after a kick to the chest. He was immediately treated by a team of four medics supplied by a private organisation at the Leeds Martial Arts Academy in Morley.

An ambulance arrived 21 minutes after the first 999 call, followed by a cardiac arrest team led by a doctor, an inquest has heard. Scott was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but died the following day.

The two-day inquest in Wakefield heard that he died from commotio cordis, a rare disruption of the heart’s rhythm caused by a direct blow at a specific moment in the heartbeat cycle.

In a narrative verdict yesterday, coroner Jonathan Leach said he was surprised that the owner of the Leeds Martial Arts Academy, Paul Lynch, had not read the rules of the WKA.

The coroner said he was also surprised that Mr Lynch did not require the medical services organisation TopCat to supply him with its staff’s qualifications in writing.

The inquest heard how one member of the team was trained to the equivalent of an Ambulance Service Emergency Medical Technician Level 1 and others were classed as first-aiders.

Mr Leach said the rule book of the WKA specified a doctor with trauma experience should be present. He also criticised the “haphazard” way TopCat managed equipment.

Mr Leach said he would write to the WKA recommending that they “make it clear as to what it required in terms of a medical team”. The coroner also said he will recommend Mr Lynch installs a defibrillator at his gym, although he accepted that the medical evidence in Scott’s case was that a defibrillator would not have helped with the kind of cardiac arrest he suffered.