Monday 26 September 2016

Homeless man found dead in disused Mater Hospital ward had been drinking hand sanitiser - inquest

Louise Roseingrave

Published 15/07/2015 | 18:39

Mater Hospital Dublin
Mater Hospital Dublin

A homeless man found dead in a disused ward in the Mater Hospital had been drinking hand sanitiser gel, an inquest into his death heard.

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Krzysztof Krzywicki (34) of no fixed abode, was found slumped on a toilet seat in St Agnes’ Ward, an abandoned area of the hospital on April 9th 2014.

A bottle of sanitising gel was found on the window ledge next to him.

The body was in a state  of decomposition and had been there for a ‘number of days’ Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

According to his medical records, the Polish national had been treated at the Mater a week earlier for alcohol related issues but had discharged himself at 9.30am on April 2.

He was ‘not interested in any risks involved in discharging against advice’ Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said.

The deceased had been drinking sanitising gel at the hospital before he left, the court heard.

It is not known how he got into the abandoned ward or how long he had been there.

He died of acute alcohol poisoning, with a blood alcohol level of 840 mls per 100g of blood. "It's almost three times the upper fatal level," the coroner said.

“It maybe something he found in the ward. He seemed to have a particular propensity for sanitizer gel, but he must have been drinking spirits also to reach that level,” he said.

 The dead man was found in the bathroom of the ward by cleaner Noleen Barry.

“It’s the entrance facing Mountjoy (prison.) He came straight in and took the stairs. He could just walk in. That area is open in the morning for staff with a swipe card,” she said.

The area has since been refurbished and is now used as office space.

“The man was found fully clothed sitting on the toilet seat, slumped to the side. It appeared he was in this position for a number of days,” Garda Michael Guihan of Mountjoy Garda Station said.

Mr Krzywicki was pronounced dead at the scene and removed to the morgue. An autopsy found the main cause of death to be alcohol toxicity and central nervous system depression due to acute alcohol poisoning. The Coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Mr Krzywicki's family were unable to travel to the inquest from Poland due to financial constraints.

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