The death of an Invercargill man shortly before Christmas
last year has prompted a coroner to speak out on the dangers
of taking too many non-prescription drugs despite finding the
man died of natural causes.
In his written findings released last week, Otago-Southland
coroner David Crerar found Oliver Lindsey Scott (60) died of
cardiac arrhythmia between December 23 and December 25 last
Mr Scott was found face-down on the floor of his bedroom on
Tests showed high levels of ibuprofen in the blood, but a
pathologist did not believe this caused Mr Scott's death.
Mr Crerar said Mr Scott suffered chronic neuropathic pain
after surgery in 2008.
He said in addition to cardiac problems, Mr Scott had a
history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and what a
specialist called "dangerous levels" of ibuprofen intake.
He said Mr Scott did not attend specialist medical
appointments arranged for him and continued to self-medicate.
Mr Crerar said there might be a connection between the
overuse of ibuprofen and Mr Scott's heart condition but found
his death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia.
"While it is accepted that there was an extremely high
concentration in the blood of Oliver Scott, it is unclear as
to the extent this contributed to the death."
Mr Crerar said he released his findings to the media although
Mr Scott's death was due to natural causes because "the
public should learn the dangers of self-medicating and
A copy of his finding was sent to the Ministry of Health in
order for further publicity on both the dangers of taking
non-prescription medication in amounts more than those which
are recommended by the manufacturers.
Mr Crerar also warned of the dangers of individuals failing
to heed medical advice and self-medicating to the exclusion
of taking prescribed medication and treatment.