Medical intervention could have potentially saved the life of Ellesmere Port victim Jimmy Hennessy, the Hillsborough inquests have heard today (Thursday, November 19).
The inquest was also told there was a 'strong possibility' that the 29-year-old was still alive on the pitch after 3.15pm.
The court heard expert medical evidence about the dad-of-one from Great Sutton, whose daughter Charlotte now lives in Connah’s Quay,Flintshire.
Intensive care expert Dr Jasmeet Soar told the court he believed Jimmy died after 3.15pm - when police constable Carl Maltravers described seeing his eyes opening and his arm twitching as he lay on the pitch.
The original inquests into the 96 deaths at the semi-final on April 15, 1989, had a cut-off time of 3.15pm imposed on the evidence.
Mr Maltravers had said he approached Jimmy, who was lying unattended on the pitch, 10 to 15 minutes after the match was stopped at 3.06pm.
Dr Soar told the court: “Any movement, be it the twitching of the arm or the eye opening, that’s been described is compatible with life.
“It is also compatible with occurring at the time of death or within minutes of the heart and breathing stopping.”
He added: “I think there’s a strong possibility he was still alive at that point or only just recently his heart and breathing had stopped, assuming that description.”
Judy Khan QC, representing some members of Jimmy’s family, said: “On all of that available evidence, it is right, isn’t it, that it is likely that an earlier intervention, earlier medical intervention, in Jimmy’s case could have saved his life?”
Dr Soar said: “Potentially, yes.”
Dr Soar said he believed Jimmy died between 3.15pm or 3.20pm and 4.09pm - when he was confirmed dead in the gymnasium by a doctor.
The court also heard a description of Jimmy vomiting after being given CPR on the pitch by Mr Maltravers and a St John Ambulance volunteer.
Pathologists Dr Nat Cary and Professor Guy Rutty said the post-mortem examination recorded a large amount of vomit found in Jimmy’s lung and airways.
Prof Rutty said the description raised the possibility that Jimmy had inhaled, or aspirated, stomach contents while alive.
Dr Cary said: “This case, amongst all the cases, is an example of where someone may have got into difficulties after the crush as a result of complications for instance, of being unconscious.
“One complication of being unconscious is airway obstruction and aspiration of stomach contents is one of the manifestations of airway obstructions.”
He added: “I think we made a comment in our joint report which said his final mode of death may therefore have been as a consequence of failed CPR, accepting that ultimately this chain of events was the result of compression asphyxia.”
The pathologists gave Jimmy’s cause of death as inhalation of gastric contents due to compression asphyxia.