Pensioner from Budleigh nursing home died of accidental death, inquest told

A DEMENTIA patient who had lived in a Budleigh Salterton nursing home died of a head injury, an inquest heard. Seventy-eight-year-old Dorothy Joan Phillips, who also suffered from Parkinson s Disease and was susceptible to falls, died in Pinewood Nursing

A DEMENTIA patient who had lived in a Budleigh Salterton nursing home died of a head injury, an inquest heard.

Seventy-eight-year-old Dorothy Joan Phillips, who also suffered from Parkinson's Disease and was susceptible to falls, died in Pinewood Nursing Home on March 15 last year.

In recording her verdict of accidental death, coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland said: "I am satisfied she was prone to falls up until her last in December 2008. Several weeks before she sustained a head injury.

"I am satisfied the injury was the cause of death."


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In a statement read out to the court by Mr King, who conducted a post mortem at Wonford Hospital, it said he was made aware of Ms Philips' history of Parkinson's Disease and dementia.

Mr King said she suffered a bilateral hemorrhage a number of weeks before her death. He concluded that she had a clot which went to the arteries and lungs and caused a brain hemorrhage.

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The statement added: "It was chronic and had been going on for some time."

The court heard how Ms Phillips, who was born in Birmingham, had a history of depression and suffered from chronic alcoholism.

Dr Earland said Ms Philips' family were aware of her risk of falls.

She suffered no fewer than six in 2008, many brought about by her falling from her bed, resulting in injuries which included grazes to her shoulder and knees.

The court heard how a mattress would be placed on the floor to reduce her risk of injuries.

She was a resident at Angela Court nursing home from April 5, 2007, until December 19, 2008, before being moved to Honiton Hospital and then Pinewood Nursing Home.

In a statement read out to the court by Emma Seale, manager of Angela Court, it said: "She (Ms Phillips) had been moved out because of her nursing needs.

"She was at risk of falls and at times needed to be hoisted out of bed. At the time she lived with us, we were only a residential home."

The statement explained Ms Phillips became unable to feed herself.

Recalling the moments leading up to her death, the court heard a statement read out by a member of staff from Pinewood.

It said: "Staff recognised she seemed pale and unwell. Doctors were called, and within half an hour she had died.

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