Monday 23 July 2018

Woman (72) who broke her arm died on cold patio

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Louise Roseingrave

A woman who fell and broke her arm on her patio developed hypothermia and died, an inquest heard.

Anne Elizabeth Hanson (72), of Offington Park, Sutton, Dublin 13, was found dead at her home by her son on February 9 last year.

She suffered a cardiac arrest secondary to blood loss and hypothermia with a broken arm. She had consumed alcohol, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

Ms Hanson usually sat knitting in her kitchen but may have gone out on to the patio to let her dog out, her son John Hanson told the court.

He arrived at her home shortly after 8pm after he failed to reach her by phone. He said he found her lying on the patio.

She had moved into the ground floor apartment only six months previously, he said.

Gda Aisling O'Neill, formerly of Howth Garda Station, said Ms Hanson was dressed only in her nightdress when she fell and was unable to get up.

It is thought she lay dead for some hours before she was found.

A post-mortem examination was performed by pathologist Prof Eamon Leen. He gave the cause of death as cardiac arrest secondary to hypothermia and blood loss with a fractured humerus in the context of alcohol intoxication.


A toxicology screening revealed Ms Hanson had a blood alcohol level of 257 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said that anyone who sustains a fall outside in February and is unable to move from their position will likely suffer the effects of hypothermia.

It is thought Ms Hanson may have fallen shortly after eating a meal the previous night.

The coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure due to the "significant risk" posed by alcohol consumption.


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