Game addict, 20, killedby deep vein thrombosis
A LAD of 20 has been killed by a blood clot caused by playing his Xbox for up to 12 hours at a time.
A post mortem revealed that Chris Staniforth - addicted to games such as Halo - had suffered a deep vein thrombosis. It can be triggered by sitting in one position for long spells.
Stunned dad David, of Sheffield, said: "He lived for his Xbox. I never dreamed he was in any danger.
"As a parent you think playing computer games can't do them any harm because you know what they are doing.
Grief ... Chris's dad David and stepmum Karen
"Kids all over the country are playing these games for long periods - they don't realise it could kill them."
Chris collapsed seconds after telling a friend how he had been experiencing a strange sensation in his chest.
The pair were chatting outside a JobCentre where Chris had an interview.
David said: "He told his friend how he was woken in the night by a strange feeling in his chest.
"He said his heart rate had been incredibly low but it went back to normal and he fell asleep again.
Addictive ... Xbox 360
"Then he dropped a packet of chewing gum and as he picked it up, he jolted back and began to spasm."
Chris's friend called an ambulance - but paramedics could not save him.
A coroner yesterday confirmed DVT had caused Chris's death and it was cited on his death certificate.
He did not have a history of ill health and had no underlying medical complications.
DVT is a blood clot which develops in the legs or lower torso, often when the suffer's movement is restricted for long spells.
If the clot travels up the veins to the lungs, it can cause a fatal blockage known as a pulmonary embolism.
DVT used to mainly strike passengers on long-haul flights who sat for hours in the same position.
But in recent years it has increasingly been seen among those who sit for longs spells in front of computer screens.
Weapon ... Halo game character
David, 54, of Sheffield, told yesterday how Chris would sit for hours engrossed in games such as Halo, in which players battle invading aliens.
He added: "Chris lived for his Xbox. When he got into a game he could play it for hours and hours on end, sometimes 12 hours in a stretch.
"He got sucked in playing Halo online against people from all over the world."
David has now launched a campaign to raise awareness about DVT and computer games. He said: "Games are fun and once you've started playing it's hard to stop.
"Over the years Chris had a whole range of different consoles, everything from PlayStations to Xboxes.
"I'm not for one minute blaming the manufacturer of Xbox. It isn't their fault that people use them for so long. But I want to highlight the dangers that can arise.
"Playing on it for so long is what killed him - and I don't want another child to die."
Game ... Halo
David, who is divorced from Chris's mum, added: "At first we couldn't understand how this had happened. We were stunned the cause of death came back as a pulmonary embolism as a result of DVT."
Chris intended to have a career in computers and was recently offered a place at Leicester University to study Game Design. Professor Brian Colvin, an expert on blood-related conditions, yesterday said it was rare to find someone as young as Chris getting DVT.
He added: "There's anxiety about obesity and children not doing anything other than looking at computer screens. It's pretty unhealthy."
Xbox makers Microsoft said: "We recommend gamers take breaks to exercise as well as make time for other pursuits."