Elderly man (99) suffered fatal burns after falling in to bath - inquest
A 99-year-old man tragically died after suffering fatal burns when he was scalded after falling into a bath, an inquest has heard.
William Manning from Proleek, Ravensdale in Dundalk, Co Louth, died on October 31, 2013 at St James’s Hospital, three-and-a-half weeks after he fell while preparing to get into the bath, hitting and opening the hot water tap and severely scalding his back.
His family told Dublin Coroner’s Court that Mr Manning was in excellent health with a very good quality of life and "not ready to die". He had already booked the hotel for his 100th birthday party celebrations.
The inquest heard that Mr Manning’s accident was discovered when his son Liam Manning and daughter-in-law went to check on him after missing him at his usual Mass on Sunday, October 6.
Mr Manning said his father was “very independent”, living on his own with family nearby and still driving having changed cars the previous year.
When they went to the house, his father answered the door in a “somewhat distressed state”, Mr Manning told the court. He was dressed but "dishevelled" which would be unusual, he said.
He told them he had had an accident in the bath. When they saw how red the injury was, they called for an ambulance immediately.
Mr Manning told the court his father did not explain all the details of the accident but the family believe he fell into the bath and hit the hot water tap as he did so, opening it up. The position he landed in meant he was unable to turn the tap off quickly enough to stop himself from being scalded. He had a bandage covering a wound on his leg and was trying to keep it out of the water when he was getting into the bath.
When doctors at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, examined Mr Manning they found he had suffered 20 per cent burns on his back, shoulders and buttocks. The wounds were partial and full thickness.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the family they were “quite severe”.
Mr Manning was transferred to the burns unit in St James’s Hospital but his condition deteriorated over the following weeks until his death from multi-organ failure.
Dr Farrell said that the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem reported the wounds might be survivable in a younger person but advanced age is a significant risk factor for death as a result of burns.
He returned a verdict of accidental death.