A pathologist has described the death of a young kickboxer as a “tragic fluke” after saying a blow to his chest was the likely cause of his death.
Scott Marsden from Sheffield was just 14 when he collapsed in the final round of a kickboxing match at a gym in Morley in March 2017.
He was rushed to Leeds General Hospital but died two days later.
The inquest into his death continued at Wakefield Coroner’s Court today, where consultant paediatric pathologist, Dr Kerry Turner, said the cause of the youngsters’ death was commotio cordis - a disruption to the heart’s rhythm.
Following a post-mortem, she found Scott to have been fit and healthy teenager with no underlying medical conditions.
She told the court that her findings came from a “diagnosis of exclusion”, ruling out other possible causes, and that a simple direct hit to the chest area could have led to the cardiac arrest that caused his death.
She added that there was no definitive way of telling how the heart had reacted before his collapse.
She said: “It may seem relatively innocuous, but it could knock the heart of out rhythm and lead to sudden death.
“It translates to an agitation to the heart. It’s very rare. It’s a tragic fluke.”
Scott, an experienced and talented kickboxer who had been involved in the sport since he was four, had been competing in a five-round bout for a national title at Leeds Martial Arts College at Morley’s Alexandra Mill.
He had been wearing the correct protective equipment and had not looked in trouble at any point during the bout.
The inquest was told that Scott, who trained at Marsden’s All Style Kickboxing Club in Hillsborough, Sheffield, appeared to collapse onto the ropes just seconds from the end of the fifth and final round and was stopped from slumping onto the canvas by the referee.
A trauma technician and three first aid workers, employed by TopCat Medics, who had been assigned to the event, tended to Scott and gave him CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Scott’s father, Simon, who was present during this morning’s hearing, asked trauma technician Ian Furber while he was giving evidence: “Do you think you were out of your depth?”
To which Mr Furber replied: “No. I was shocked at how he (Scott) deteriorated but my level of training enabled me to do everything I needed to do.”
Following Scott’s death, Jon Green, who was president of the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) England at the time, criticised the length of time it took for an ambulance to arrive.
It was heard today that the ambulance team received the call at 10.30pm on the evening and arrived at 10.51pm.
Mr Green told the inquest that he felt there was “no rush whatsoever” from the ambulance service.
Giving evidence, one of the ambulance workers said: “I felt it was a little bit hostile, emotions were running high and we got some verbal abuse about not being quick enough.”
The inquest continues and is expected to conclude tomorrow.