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Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SPORT -

Ash­ford Net­ball League marked a fine sea­son

A CORO­NER has raised con­cerns about pa­tients wear­ing socks on hospi­tal wards, af­ter an el­derly man died af­ter a fall.

Fredrick Gay, 83, died on May 16 at the William Har­vey Hospi­tal in Ash­ford.

An inquest at Ash­ford heard how Mr Gay had been ad­mit­ted days be­fore with anaemia and that the day be­fore he died, he fell over as he was get­ting out of bed.

He was lifted back into bed by nurses who de­cided to carry out reg­u­lar ob­ser­va­tions.

Nurses de­cided against car­ry­ing out neu­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tions be­cause, al­though Mr Gay told them he had hit his head, he said he was not hurt and was talk­ing co­her­ently.

They bleeped doc­tors three times to see Mr Gay but there had been no re­sponse by the time he died the next morn­ing.

It emerged at the inquest that Mr Gay, of The Street, Petham, Can­ter­bury, also had pan­cy­tope­nia which is an ab­nor­mal de­fi­ciency in all blood cells.

Al­though this was on his records, nurs­ing staff said they did not know he was suf­fer­ing with the con­di­tion and that if they did, they would have been more likely to carry out neu­ro­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tions.

A pathol­o­gist’s re­port read at the inquest con­firmed that Mr Gay died as a re­sult of bleed­ing around the brain caused by a slight head in­jury.

Coro­ner Rachel Red­man ques­tioned why he had been al­lowed to wear socks and slip.

She said: “I am con­cerned about the care this pa­tient re­ceived from nurs­ing staff.

“I see a num­ber of falls lead­ing to death in the William Har­vey Hospi­tal and while I am aware el­derly peo­ple will fall, I am con­cerned that they are be­ing al­lowed to stay in their socks. To me that is invit­ing some­one to lose their bal­ance on a slip- pery sur­face.”

Ma­tron Clare Bog­gia was among the nurs­ing staff who gave ev­i­dence and said she thought it was likely he had been ad­vised not to wear socks.

She said: “Mr Gay was able to make his own de­ci­sions and was in­de­pen­dent.

“There are leaflets around which we can give to peo­ple about wear­ing proper footwear but we can only ad­vise.

“We are try­ing to up­date the forms so there will be a tick box as to whether a pa­tient has been spo­ken to about footwear.”

A ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death was recorded.

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