Hospital patient, 89, died following fall
Published at 11:51, Thursday, 29 November 2012
AN 89-YEAR-OLD woman who fell in a hospital ward, fracturing her hip and suffering head injuries, died at West Cumberland Hospital a month later.
An inquest was held in to the death of Mary Isabella McDowell, of Dalegarth Avenue, Whitehaven, last week at which coroner David Roberts recorded a verdict of accidental death.
A post mortem concluded that Mrs McDowell died of a chest infection, which was directly affected by her hip fracture and head injuries.
The inquest heard that Mrs McDowell was admitted to hospital on January 21 last year with dementia, angina and a urine infection.
Over the following days, care reports completed by staff concluded that Mrs McDowell was at risk of falling and needed to use a Zimmer frame.
On January 27, Mrs McDowell fell while walking unaided in a hospital ward corridor, causing hip and head injuries. A health care assistant saw Mrs McDowell walking unaided, and although she didn’t know the patient needed a Zimmer frame, said she looked safe.
Following her fall, a number of tests and checks were carried out by medical staff, including a CT scan which confirmed Mrs McDowell’s injuries.
The hospital was unable to operate on Mrs McDowell as she was unfit to have major surgery. She remained in hospital, where she was made comfortable, and died on February 28.
Lynn Anderson, head of nursing, said everything was done to look after Mrs McDowell, before and after the fall. “She had all the help that was required at the time,” she said.
Mrs Anderson said during the time of Mrs McDowell’s fall, the hospital was carrying out a review of slips, trips and falls.
She said: “We have a fall care plan where we see if there is a risk of someone falling or if they have a previous history of falling. We formed a group, including physios, doctors and nurses, to look at what the areas of risk were.”
Ongoing improvements have been made to care plans and when they are used. “One of the main differences is that the plans were filled in once a week and now we do it at every shift hand-over, three times a day,” she said.
James McDowell said his mother was a very active person until the dementia set in and she was very independent. “She had a quiet life and was very family orientated,” he added.
In conclusion, Mr Roberts said: “The care reports and paperwork that were carried out by the hospital seemed to be very comprehensive. She had been seen by an occupational therapist who said she needed a Zimmer frame, although there are comments that she often forgot to use it. She was seen walking down the corridor unaided.
“Sadly Mrs McDowell fell, striking her head and fracturing her hip.”
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
- Man stabbed in Whitehaven
- What's On Guide: July 2 to 8
- Beckermet Nursery Fun Day
- School Country Dance Event
- Whitehaven Film Festival 2015
- Life-saving parachute rescue over harbour (1 comment)
- Protest March
- Whitehaven Motor Show
- Former Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn honoured by the Queen (20 comments)
- Controversial windfarm given the go-ahead (1 comment)
- Cockermouth NatWest branch closes suddenly
- M-Sport's Ryan is engineering success story
- VIDEO: On track for Workington's new leisure centre (2 comments)
- Moorside nuclear reactor plans on show
- Firm plugs into £2m deal for Workington's new sports centre (2 comments)
- Continental market to visit Workington (1 comment)
- New beauty treatment rooms open at Cumbrian hotel
- West Cumbria wins at tourism awards
- Agency and consultancy link-up to offer one-stop-shop
- Wigton's Innovia lands order from Russian chocolates firm
- Family fun at Walney Gala
- Woman kicked in face during late-night trouble in Carlisle city centre
- Barrow council prosecutes Dalton attraction in connection with zoo keeper killed by tiger
- Probe under way into Cumbria housing estate ‘health hazard’ leaks
- Cumbria Police release CCTV images in connection with theft
- Ulverston Carnival considered "best in years"
- More job cuts inevitable warns Cumbria council boss
- More than 100 graduate from Cumbria Children's University
- Cumbrian husband unlawfully killed his wife, inquest rules
- Vintage rally a big draw for exhibitors and visitors