Monday 17 December 2018

Woman (91) died of sepsis after scalding tea spilled in her lap on visit to hotel

The late Mrs Daphne Anderson
The late Mrs Daphne Anderson

Louise Roseingrave

The daughter of a 91-year-old woman who died from sepsis has called for the exhumation of her mother's body to facilitate a fresh autopsy.

Daphne Anderson died after she was hospitalised following an incident at a hotel when tea spilled on her lap.

Her daughter Audrey Anderson asked for an independent autopsy following the alteration of post-mortem results after a pathologist heard clinical evidence during an inquest.

Daphne Anderson, from Offington Lawn, Sutton, Dublin 13, went for tea at a Dublin hotel with her daughter Audrey on November 30, 2015. She suffered second-degree burns after what her daughter believes was a scald due to spilled tea.

The elderly woman did not immediately report the injury; her daughter said she ate dinner as normal that night but the next morning her mother's blood pressure was low.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard a local GP examined Ms Anderson on December 1 before she was admitted to the Bons Secours in Glasnevin.

She was found to have marked skin, blisters and oozing on her upper thigh area and was diagnosed with second-degree burns.

On December 3, she was transferred to the Burns Unit at St James's Hospital.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard she was "extremely unwell" on admission to St James's and was administered the antibiotic Augmentin for a five-day period from December 3. On December 14, Ms Anderson developed a perforated colon and died four days later on December 18.

The cause of death given by the pathologist was intra-abdominal sepsis, due to or as a consequence of colon perforation. This was a change to the original cause of death as given on the post-mortem report.

Through her legal team, Audrey Anderson queried the change to the autopsy which had initially referenced the use of antibiotics after she had been burned.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane adjourned the inquest in order to call the senior pathologist involved in the autopsy.

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Anderson said her mother's "untimely death has been a great loss to her family".

Irish Independent

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