Tuesday 17 September 2019

Woman (97) choked to death on sausage and chips

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Louise Roseingrave

A 97-year-old woman was eating her favourite meal of sausage and chips in hospital when she choked and died, an inquest has heard.

Alice Minogue, an aunt of Celia Larkin, had lived independently until she was well into her 90s.

A former seamstress, she entered St Mary's Hospital in Dublin's Phoenix Park after suffering a number of falls as she had become unsteady on her feet. She had settled in well and was content.

Dining room staff helped prepare her for her lunch, which was served shortly after 12.45pm on May 23, 2016.

Nurse manager on the ward Joy Gicale said Ms Minogue loved her meals and was generally alert on the ward.

Staff member Fidelia Ogunko was in the dining room when she spotted Ms Minogue in difficulty.

"I could see immediately that Alice was choking. She was not coughing or talking and I proceeded with abdomen thrusts," she said.

The Heimlich manoeuvre removed some pieces of the meal from her airway but she quickly deteriorated despite staff members' best efforts to save her.

The cause of death was asphyxia due to choking with mild dementia as a contributing factor, Dublin Coroner's Court was told.

Irish Independent

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