Sunday 15 September 2019

Elderly woman died following fall in nursing home toilet

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

The family of a 91 year old woman who died following a fall in a nursing home, have told staff there that they were not to blame and should not feel guilt.

Sligo coroners court heard today  that Marian Kane from Lismacool, Elphin Co Roscommon fell on a bathroom floor when she went out the toilet in the early hours of February 14th last year.

Rita Goggin,  a nurse at St Eithne’s care centre in Tulsk told coroner Eamon MacGowan that Ms Kane rang the bell at about 1.15 am that  night as she needed to go the toilet.

The nurse said she linked her to the en suite bathroom and was assisting her when she heard a noise  and went “a couple of steps”  down the corridor to investigate. She heard a sound from Ms Kane’s bathroom and returned immediately to find she had fallen on the floor.

The elderly lady had a laceration to the forehead and staff called NoWDOC , the out of hours GP service, and an ambulance .

In a report Dr Kieran Cunningham a consultant in emergency medicine at Sligo University Hospital where Ms Kane was treated , said he was satisfied that she had suffered a massive brain bleed but he believe it  was the bleed which caused her to to fall, and not the other way round. A CT scan showed a large bleed on the right side of the brain and the family was alerted and told she was not expected to survive. Ms Kane died in the hospital some hours later.

The deceased’s nephew  Patrick Kane who travelled from England for the inquest,  thanked staff in St Eithne’s for the “exceptional care” his aunt had received there. He said the family did not apportion any blame to staff “rather the opposite” as his  aunt could not have got better care and attention. Mr Kane said his own background was in Health & Safety and he was satisfied with how things were done.

Returning a verdict of death by natural causes ,  coroner Eamon MacGowan found the cause of death was a massive brain haemorrhage .  He commended Ms Goggin for the way she had cared for the deceased.

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