Campaign bid after son’s Xbox death

David Staniforth and his son Chris
David Staniforth and his son Chris

A SHEFFIELD father has launched a campaign to warn computer games fans of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis after his 20-year-old son was killed by a blood clot caused by all-night sessions on his Xbox.

David Staniforth, aged 54, of Dore, said his son, Chris, who lived with his mother in Sothall, would sit up playing on his Xbox against people around the world. Chris spent so much time playing online he was even invited to one of his fellow gamer’s weddings in America next year.

A post mortem examination found deep vein thrombosis, caused by sitting in one position for long spells. The condition, more commonly associated with long-haul flights, leads to blood clots which can then travel around the body. The clot had reached Chris’s lungs.

Mr Staniforth, a sales manager for insulation company, Rockwool, has created a website warning gamers of the dangers of sitting for hours at a time and is urging manufacturers to build in warnings which flash on screen to encourage players to take a break and exercise.

He said: “Chris’s death was a massive shock – he was only 20. The post mortem results made me look at what might have been behind him having DVT – and I found quite a few cases where people developed the condition after sitting for long periods playing computer games. A charity called Lifeblood said there has been a sharp growth in young people with DVT.

“Chris had friends and used to go out but he would sit up for a all-night sessions playing computer games. He’d be against people around the world who are in different time zones.”

He had been a fan of games consoles since he was eight and was due to start a degree in computer games design at Leicester University in the autumn. Chris, who also played bass guitar, had been at Norton College then Peaks College for the last four years after leaving Westfield School.

Chris died last May after he had been driving with his friend, Max Lavender, also 20 and from Sothall, to a job centre to find part-time work.

When Chris was having trouble breathing, his friend started dialling 999 but Chris went into a seizure. Max and some passing girls dragged Chris from the car and tried to revive him while waiting for paramedics but it was too late.