Pensioner in care died after fight
Resident was 'tipped out' of his wheelchair
Published 24/08/2011 | 05:00
A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND pensioner died from complications of a bone fracture after a fight with a 96-year-old man in a nursing home, an inquest heard yesterday.
Patrick Declan Kinsella (71) suffered a fracture of his right shin bone and calf bone in the fight on August 24, 2010, at Annabeg Nursing Home, Meadow Court, Ballybrack, Co Dublin.
Dublin City Coroner's Court was told that staff nurse Jeanette Suarez raised the alarm when she found Mr Kinsella lying on floor, complaining of pain in his right leg. Dementia patient Gerard Phelan was standing behind the wheelchair and both men were bleeding from the head.
Mr Kinsella told a paramedic he "had been assaulted". The two residents were taken to St Vincent's Hospital in separate ambulances for treatment. Mr Kinsella later told his daughter, Carol Cunnie, that Mr Phelan had "tipped" him out of his wheelchair and he fell on to the ground and hit his head.
Ms Cunnie told the inquest her father told her Mr Phelan had then picked up a "grabber", which Mr Kinsella had for picking up things, and began "beating him on the face" with it. She told how her father said the "grabber" broke and that he then hit Mr Phelan with it.
Mr Kinsella told his daughter that the incident occurred after Mr Phelan told Mr Kinsella to turn off the lights and he replied he could not because he was in a wheelchair.
Mr Kinsella was placed in a cast and discharged on August 25, but was re-admitted to hospital the day after, following a deterioration in his condition. He died on August 28. Mr Kinsella's death was due to fat embolus, a recognised complication of a fracture, where fat globules travel to the heart and lungs causing breathing problems and cardiac failure, a post mortem found.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell recorded a narrative verdict, a summary of the facts of the case. Mr Kinsella's wife, Patricia Kinsella, told the coroner that the family did not blame the nursing home or the staff.
A file was sent to the DPP, but due to Mr Phelan's age and capacity, it was decided it was of no benefit to prosecute.