Inquest Into Death Of Suffolk Soldier

An Army officer from Suffolk with no apparent health problems died suddenly after a training run, an inquest has heard.

Lieutenant Peter Rous, of 1st Battalion Scots Guards, based at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, took part in the five-mile run with around 100 other soldiers on November 3 last year.

The inquest into the 25-year old's death, in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, heard Lt Rous complained of feeling dizzy about 10 minutes before the end of the run and collapsed after he completed the course.

Coroner Michael Oakley told the hearing an Army captain noticed Lt Rous was exhausted but had claimed this was "not unusual''.  The captain gave him oxygen and found his responses and pulse were weak so put him into the recovery

Lt Rous, from Dennington, Suffolk, was immediately taken to a medical centre just metres away and later transferred to Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, where he was pronounced dead. A cardiac pathologist found his death was
consistent with sudden adult death syndrome in a heart that was otherwise normal.

The inquest heard that sudden adult death is often caused by an unusual heart rhythm that can occur as a result of exertion, stress or exercise, and can be inherited.

Mr Oakley said: "It is a known fact that this can be genetic. It is therefore important that other members of the family are screened to see if any problems can be detected.''

Recording a verdict of death from natural causes, the coroner said: "Lt Rous was on a physical exercise, he was on a run that was taking place. He appeared to have completed the run without any apparent difficulty and has collapsed, effectively at the end of the run, although there's some evidence he might have been in some distress towards the end of the run.''

He continued: "The post-mortem evidence has shown that he had a perfectly good heart but that heart has stopped due to a combination of unknown reasons.

"It is not possible unfortunately to state what that might have been because that can not be determined after death. That's the reason Lt Rous falls into a category of generally young males of a certain age who have, in effect, died
from what is quite properly named sudden adult death.''