Inquest told how elderly woman was prone to falls

AN 84-YEAR-OLD Eastbourne woman, who was sent home from Eastbourne DGH without a CT scan following a fall, later died from a bleed on the brain.

Hilda Bloss, of The Shires Rest Home, died at Eastbourne DGH on October 4, 2010 and an inquest into her death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday (April 14).

Assistant deputy coroner Kate Palmer heard that Mrs Bloss suffered from dementia and was prone to falls.

She heard the elderly lady, who had become more frail in her old age, had broken her elbow following a fall in April 2010.

She then suffered another fall on August 2 and was taken to Eastbourne DGH by ambulance. Mrs Bloss was examined by a doctor at the hospital and then discharged within an hour-and-a-half of arriving at A&E.

Mrs Palmer said NICE guidelines stated that patients with head injuries, like Mrs Bloss, should be checked by the doctor a second time before being discharged. Mrs Palmer also raised concerns that certain forms had not be completed by the hospital.

Dr Enoch Quarcoo, the doctor who examined Mrs Bloss on the day, admitted he had not seen Mrs Bloss a second time but said, “Further assessment would have been difficult because she was agitated and wouldn’t let us do the basics.”

Salim Shubber, a consultant in A&E at the DGH, added, “The hospital is not necessarily the best place for someone with dementia. We felt it was better that she was around familiar people and surroundings.”

Mrs Bloss was up and down when she returned to the rest home.

There were further calls to the GP and three more falls before she was admitted to Eastbourne DGH on September 20 because she was confused and unresponsive.

A CT scan was done two days later and a sub-dural haemorrhage was found. It was decided Mrs Bloss would not survive a surgical proceedure and she died at the hospital shortly afterwards.

Her daughter Helen Elliott said she thought her mother should have had a CT scan earlier.

Mrs Palmer recorded a narrative verdict. She said, “Mrs Bloss was prone to falling due to her health and dementia. She died of the effects of sub-dural bleeding. It is not possible to identify a specific incident which led to her death.”