Man overdosed on painkilling tablets

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Long Melford businessman died after taking an overdose of paracetamol tablets, an inquest heard.

Samuel Chalmers, who ran Chimneys restaurant, was admitted to West Suffolk Hospital on February 18 suffering from chest and abdominal pains.

An inquest in Bury St Edmunds on Monday heard that Mr Chalmers, 62, of Hall Street, was initially treated in the intensive care unit for liver and renal failure.

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said that Mr Chalmers revealed to medical staff that he had swallowed a large number of paracetamol tablets which doctors confirmed was the cause of his liver failure.

It was thought he might have taken as many as 80 tablets, said Dr Dean.

The following day, Mr Chalmers was transferred for specialist treatment to King’s College Hospital, London, where he died on February 20.

A post-mortem examination conducted by consultant pathologist Dr Mohamed Dada showed that the level of paracetamol in Mr Chalmers’ blood was nearly five times higher than would be expected from a normal safe dose of the drug.

The cause of Mr Chalmers’ death was given by the pathologist as paracetamol overdose.

He leaves behind wife Zena and daughters Rebecca, 33, and Rachel, 30. He has three brothers and four sisters.

Mr Chalmers’ family said he was a proud yet private man who did not easily discuss issues affecting him, said Dr Dean.

The businessman had been hard-working, achieving the position of head chef before starting his own catering business in Long Melford in 1985, often working 15 hours a day for six days a week.

Following his death, a member of his staff had discovered a letter in which he talked about some of the pressure he was under. Also found were a number of empty paracetamol packets.

Dr Dean recorded a verdict of death due to complications following an overdose of paracetamol.