Thursday 19 September 2019

Elderly woman died due to injuries after tragic car incident - inquest

Elderly woman died due to injuries she sustained as a passenger in a car driven by her husband. Stock image
Elderly woman died due to injuries she sustained as a passenger in a car driven by her husband. Stock image

Louise Roseingrave

An elderly woman died due to injuries she sustained as a passenger in a car driven by her husband.

Josephine and John Sugrue were driving to the shops in their Toyota Yaris when the accident happened on January 3 2017.

The couple were coming out of their estate at Sion Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin when Mr Sugrue swerved to avoid an oncoming car and struck a pillar.

Mr Sugrue was driving with Mrs Sugrue in the passenger seat and both sustained bruising and broken ribs in the incident.

They were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital where Mr Sugrue recovered but his wife’s condition deteriorated and she died on January 10 2017.

Josephine Sugrue (83) was a talented writer and artist before she developed Alzheimer’s disease, an inquest into her death heard. 

Mr Sugrue had a history of dementia and osteoarthritis, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Medical reports detailed how her rib fractures initially went undetected following x-rays at St Vincent's Hospital.

Mrs Sugrue was treated with antibiotics but her condition deteriorated on January 4 with an elevated heart rate and rising temperature.

She developed pneumonia in her lung. A review of her x-ray revealed the rib fractures and a partial collapse of one lung with a number of rib fractures.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane noted the initial failure to diagnose the rib fractures but said this would not have changed Mrs Sugrue’s clinical management.

On January 10 staff noticed her breathing became shallow and they contacted family members advising them to come to the hospital.

However, Mrs Sugrue was pronounced dead at 6.45am, five minutes before family arrived at St Vincent’s Hospital.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as respiratory failure due to respiratory infection due to chest wall trauma due to a road traffic collision.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. 

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