Coro­ner’s con­cern over OAP’s fall death

Macclesfield Express - - TOWN CENTRE SPECIAL REPORT -

A CORO­NER is to write to a Mac­cles­field-based hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion about its pro­ce­dures af­ter an el­derly woman died fol­low­ing a fall at home.

Kath­leen Ea­ton, 85, died in hos­pi­tal on Fe­bru­ary 5 af­ter suf­fer­ing sub­du­ral and sub­arach­noid haem­or­rhages – bleed­ing around the brain.

At an in­quest into her death, coro­ner John Pol­lard con­cluded the bleed­ing could have been as a re­sult of a head in­jury caused by ‘one or more’ falls she had had at home.

The in­quest heard from Mrs Ea­ton’s son, Ken­neth Blaymire, who ex­plained that his mum was un­steady on her feet and rarely left her home in Red­house Lane, Dis­ley, af­ter hav­ing her knee re­placed in 2003.

On Jan­uary 26, 10 days be­fore her death, Mrs Ea­ton used her emer­gency call but­ton to sum­mon help from Peaks and Plains Hous­ing Trust, af­ter fall­ing in her bed­room and be­ing un­able to get up. Com­mu­nity trust link of­fi­cer Sarah Wal­lace, an NVQ level 2 health worker, re­sponded to the call and found Mrs Ea­ton face down on the floor at around 5.55am.

She asked if Mrs Ea­ton was in­jured and if she needed an am­bu­lance, but Mrs Ea­ton said she was okay.

She helped her off the floor with the sup­port of an air cush­ion de­vice and back into bed.

Mrs Wal­lace told the in­quest she car­ried out vis­ual checks and Mrs Ea­ton did not have any vis­i­ble in­juries, but com­plained of pain in her wrist.

Mrs Wal­lace told the in­quest, if she had any rea­son to be­lieve a cus­tomer had a head in­jury, she would not move them.

Be­fore leav­ing, Mrs Wal­lace left de­tails of the in­ci­dent for Mrs Ea­ton’s car­ers, who she knew were com­ing to the house at around 8.30am.

Mr Pol­lard queried why the trust did not have a pol­icy for staff to ask peo­ple who had suf­fered a fall if they had hit their head – re­gard­less of whether they com­plain of pain or not.

Re­turn­ing a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death, Mr Pol­lard said: “I have no ev­i­dence that any­one did any­thing wrong or caused her harm, but I am con­cerned about the re­sponses to the emer­gency call.

“There are cer­tain as­pects that I find rather dif­fi­cult to ac­cept.

“I will be writ­ing to Peaks and Plains Hous­ing Trust about their train­ing, poli­cies, pro­ce­dures and guid­ance.

“Hav­ing said all that, her fall was an ac­ci­dent.”

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