Family of care home patient who died from brain haemorrhage await coroner’s verdict

Walthamstow Coroner's Court

Walthamstow Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

The family of an elderly dementia patient who suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage following a series of falls will face a wait to hear the coroner’s verdict on her death.

Evidence was given at an inquest today into the death of Betty Eunice Kyle, a resident at the Fountains Care Centre in Rainham, who died last June aged 84.

After hearing from witnesses, Nadia Persaud, senior coroner for the eastern district of London, adjourned the inquest until next Thursday September 18 to consider her verdict.

The hearing heard Mrs Kyle had moved into the nursing home in Theydon Gardens in 2011, three years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

While at first she had been quite independent, her condition was said to have deteriorated in the months leading up to her death as she became more confused.

At Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, Ms Persaud heard at around 2.30am on June 1, senior nurse Caroline Odulami found Mrs Kyle on the floor in her room, sat next to the bed.

Ms Odulami told the court she checked her for injuries before getting her back into bed.

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The inquest heard the care home’s policy in cases of unwitnessed falls such as Mrs Kyle’s was to give patients a neurological examination every 15 minutes for four hours.

But Ms Odulami said she had not carried out the further checks because Mrs Kyle had fallen asleep and she did not want to wake her.

The next day, June 2, staff called an ambulance after Mrs Kyle complained of pain in her leg.

She was taken to Queen’s Hospital in Romford where doctors discovered she had a subdural haematoma - blood on the brain - which had caused her to lose the use of her right side.

After discussions with neurologists, doctors decided it would not be in Mrs Kyle’s best interests to operate, and she remained in hospital before dying “peacefully” on June 14.

Questioning legal representatives for Fountains, Ms Persaud asked is any steps were going to be taken to “deal with [Ms Oduwami’s] professional competence”.

Barrister James Maxwell-Scott, representing the home, said it was something he thought would be discussed at the end of the case.

Mrs Kyle’s daughter Sharon said she had attended a meeting with care home staff and a social worker in May to discuss her mother’s care, following a fall in April.

She said the social worker recommended installing a sensory mat next to her bed, which would sound an alarm if Mrs Kyle stood or fell on it. But the mat had not been put in place by June 1.

Veekash Bhowaneesing, who was manager of the centre at the time of Mrs Kyle’s death, said he was not “involved in the decision making” over the mat.

He also said no internal investigations into the circumstances of Mrs Kyle’s death had been carried out by the home, which is owned by Life Style Care,

Asked by Ms Persaud if there was any suggestion of neglect, Mr Maxwell-Scott said there had been no failure to provide medical attention and said he had “no confidence” the sensory mat would have made any difference to Mrs Kyle.

The inquest will continue next Thursday.

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