All likelihood man wouldn't have died in hospital: inquest told

A doctor with the state's coroners office says "in all likelihood" Deloraine's Donald John Clarke wouldn't have died if he remained in hospital.

Dr Tony Bell said Mr Clarke, 40, was released from the Launceston General Hospital with "life-threatening swelling" in his neck on July 23 2011.

Mr Clarke, who recently had neck surgery, was found dead the following morning with aspiration pneumonia listed as the primary cause.

Dr Bell told an inquest this morning that had Mr Clarke remained at the LGH  then "in all likelihood" the pneumonia could have been treated and prevented from being deadly.

Mr Clarke was given the all clear to be discharged from the emergency department following consultation with the the LGH's orthopaedic register.

Dr Bell said had he stayed in hospital he could have been fitted with a mechanical  breathing device to support the airways.

He said the on call orthopaedic consultant should have been called not Mr Clarke's neck surgeon Dr David Edis who was on the East Coast at the time.

Dr Edis will give evidence at the inquest in to Mr Clarke's death later today.

Counsel for the state government, Paul Turner, described this as a "paradigm of excellence".

"I believe it's a safer method," Dr Bell replied.

He admitted however that it regularly wasn't the case in his experience.