Man’s hospital fall proved fatal

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AN 85-YEAR-OLD man who fell on a ward at Eastbourne DGH died from a bleed on the brain.

Arthur Beale, of Squirrels Drey in Deanland, Golden Cross, died in the hospital on February 21, 2011.

An inquest into his death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 8.

Coroner Alan Craze heard how Mr Beale had suffered a history of falls and was taken in to Eastbourne DGH on the evening of February 11.

Hospital staff gave evidence at the inquest and told Mr Craze that Mr Beale would often get up unaided and walk around the ward when he was agitated.

Cot sides were considered, but not used.

When Mr Beale was moved to Wilmington Ward, it was decided they would lower the bed to reduce the risk of injury if Mr Beale did fall.

Sylvia Stephenson, senior sister on Wilmington Ward, said Mr Beale had called for a nurse to take him to the toilet at 5am on February 21, but then got up around an hour later on his own and was discovered on the floor.

He was found with a bruise around his eye and was taken back to bed by the nursing staff and put on hourly observations.

However, his condition deteriorated quickly and a CT scan revealed he had a massive bleed on the brain.

Hurstwood Park hospital said they would be unable to operate on Mr Beale who died later that day.

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of accidental death and added, “The elderly do fall – it is a fact – and unless you have someone, or even two people, standing by them every moment of every day it is very difficult to prevent.”