Toby Kirkup: what happened to Emmerdale and Peaky Blinders actor who died at 48 - aneurysm symptoms explained

An inquest into the death of Toby Kirkup has heard how the Emmerdale and Peaky Blinders star died at home hours after he was discharged from hospital

Emmerdale and Peaky Blinders star Toby Kirkup died at home hours after he was discharged from hospital, an inquest has heard.

The actor, 48, died at home after going to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on 29 August 2020.

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It’s understood that Toby asked for medical assistance after he started having chest pains and tingling in his arms, and after being diagnosed with gastritis, he was told to go back to his home.

Tony went on to die that same day, after an aneurysm ruptured.

His family wanted a coroner to look into his death after they raised concerns about his treatment while he was in hospital, where the focus was on his stomach pain instead of chest problems.

However, assistant coroner Ian Pears said at the inquest at Bradford Coroner’s Court that he believes the hospital followed the correct procedures.

He said: "It’s quite clear that cardiac procedures were followed. I’m not at all critical of anything that has taken place within the hospital and I understand the reason for the discharge.

"It is one of those things where, unfortunately, the condition has then ruptured and become a terminal event."

At the virtual hearing, the family gave a statement in which they said Tony’s diagnosis had been based on “a perception of excessive alcohol and drug use” and questioned why he was "sent home with lifestyle advice and told to get some Gaviscon".

Tony had celebrated his birthday on 18 August 2020, just over a week before his death, and the inquest was told he had used recreational drugs and alcohol.

He reportedly started using drink and drugs while he was at university, but his family said he had been “clean” since going to rehab in South Africa ten years ago.

The actor was treated in hospital by Dr Robert Palin, who assessed him in A&E.

Dr Palin said Tony did not mention chest pains during his initial assessment and instead he said he had pain in his upper abdominal area.

The doctor said an electrocardiogram and other tests didn’t change his opinion that the most likely cause of the pain was gastritis.

Toby’s death was ruled as natural causes and pathologist Dr Karen Ramsden said he died from bleeding caused by a ruptured aortic arch aneurysm.

What are the symptoms of an aneurysm?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of aneurysm.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling in the aorta - the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy.

An AAA can be dangerous if it is not spotted early on. It can get bigger over time and could rupture, causing life-threatening bleeding.

AAAs do not usually cause any obvious symptoms, and are often only picked up during screening or tests carried out for another reason.

Some people with an AAA have:

  • a pulsing sensation in the tummy (like a heartbeat)
  • tummy pain that does not go away
  • lower back pain that does not go away

If an AAA bursts, it can cause:

  • sudden, severe pain in the tummy or lower back
  • dizziness
  • sweaty, pale and clammy skin
  • a fast heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • fainting or passing out

You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else develops symptoms of a burst AAA.

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