A MAN left brain-damaged following a car accident in Worcester may then have had a heart attack because he had been starved of oxygen by faulty medical equipment.

John Mellsop died five months after he was in collision with a car in Warndon Villages.

An inquest in Kidderminster yesterday heard pathologist Dr Louise Brown give the cause of death as bronco-pneumonia following severe multiple injuries.

But the hearing was adjourned after Mr Mellsop's sister alleged a doctor blamed a heart attack suffered by the injured man at North Staffordshire Hospital on a "malfunction" that lasted 11 minutes.

Mr Mellsop, a 39-year-old butcher from Kidderminster, was in collision with a car in Cotswold Way, Worcester, during the evening of Tuesday, September 7, last year. He was a pedestrian and had started to cross the road.

He was taken briefly to the city's Ronkswood Hospital and then to North Staffordshire, before being transferred to Kidderminster General, where he died on Saturday, February 5.

"A doctor at Kidderminster told me John had died but had been revived," claimed Kathleen Mellsop.

"He said the ventilator at the hospital had malfunctioned because it had a hole in a tube that was about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch wide."

However, she could not remember the name of the doctor at Kidderminster General, describing him only as "grey, slim and aged 40-45".

Neuropathologist Dr Martin Carey, who examined the dead man's brain, said it was difficult to pinpoint exactly why Mr Mellsop had suffered the heart attack.

Bleeding in his brain after the traffic accident could have triggered it, Dr Carey said.

"But I would say if there was a significant problem with the ventilator this was the likely cause," he told the inquest.

Meanwhile, Dr Brown said she had heard claims of faults with the ventilator that had "affected the oxygenation" supplied to Mr Mellsop.

The Worcestershire coroner, Victor Round, adjourned the inquest so further information could be compiled, warning this would take "a month or two".