Man died after having hot baths to ease bad back

Echo: Hot baths killed man Hot baths killed man

A MAN died after taking scaldingly hot baths to relieve chronic back pain, an inquest heard.

Andrew Tomlinson, 44, from Whittingam Road, Southend, had been diagnosed with crippling back pain in the weeks before his death last month.

After high-strength anti-inflamatory drugs failed to stem the pain in his lower back enough, he took to sitting in extremely hot water, Chelmsford Coroners Court was told.

The baths were so hot, he developed scolding across his buttocks and flank.

He was admitted to Southend Hospital for treatment for the burns, but they turned septic and his condition deteriorated, before he died on May 22 this year.

Pathologist Dr David Rouse carried out a post mortem, which gave the case of death as sepsis caused by burns.

Coroner Eleanor McGann said relatives confirmed to her he had taken a number of these baths over a short period to ease his pain.

Hot baths or heat pads on the back are a recognised form of relief from chronic back pain, but it is never recommended to have them at temperatures that could cause scalding.

Mrs McGann said: “This gentleman was having baths for chronic pain and thought the hot baths would help.

“We know from the family it was something he had been doing.

“It is very sad he was having baths so hot they have led to burns and led to sepsis.

“He did not mean to harm himself in this way and my conclusion is that this was an accidental death.”

Comments (8)

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9:13am Wed 25 Jun 14

charlie26 says...

rest in peace x
rest in peace x charlie26
  • Score: 14

11:54am Wed 25 Jun 14

pembury53 says...

the pain from herniated disc, if this is what the poor bloke was suffering from, is horrendous.... he should have been on opiate strength pain relief
the pain from herniated disc, if this is what the poor bloke was suffering from, is horrendous.... he should have been on opiate strength pain relief pembury53
  • Score: 10

12:47pm Wed 25 Jun 14

kyprman says...

As somebody who suffers from long term, chronic back pain my sympathies go out to this poor man's family. The problem with the available prescription medication, (codeine, morphine, etc) is that it is a toss up between some relief and an inability to carry on with daily life.
As somebody who suffers from long term, chronic back pain my sympathies go out to this poor man's family. The problem with the available prescription medication, (codeine, morphine, etc) is that it is a toss up between some relief and an inability to carry on with daily life. kyprman
  • Score: 13

3:37pm Wed 25 Jun 14

_Lotus_ says...

If it was a herniated disc, then this is tragic in more ways than one, because hot water would have swelled the disc further causing it to continue touching the sciatic nerve and so in turn, ensuring the excruciating pain would not go away.

Cold packs placed on the area will help the disc shrink away from the nerve and so ease the pain.

This is awful :(. May he rest in peace.
If it was a herniated disc, then this is tragic in more ways than one, because hot water would have swelled the disc further causing it to continue touching the sciatic nerve and so in turn, ensuring the excruciating pain would not go away. Cold packs placed on the area will help the disc shrink away from the nerve and so ease the pain. This is awful :(. May he rest in peace. _Lotus_
  • Score: 12

3:53pm Wed 25 Jun 14

TheaWells says...

Jeeze... I knew this chap many many years ago .. :-( RIP Andrew
Jeeze... I knew this chap many many years ago .. :-( RIP Andrew TheaWells
  • Score: 1

11:14pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

"The baths were so hot, he developed scolding across his buttocks and flank."

At least Echo, get the spelling right. In this case it does make a difference to the meaning. The word is "scalding".

Despite what people think, in sensitive reports like this, altering the meaning of things, especially injuries, is misleading and insensitive.

Any good journalist or sub should understand the difference between "scald" and "scold". And in this case it is important it is correctly stated.

What a sad, unfortunate case. Surely more could have been done for this poor fella.
"The baths were so hot, he developed scolding across his buttocks and flank." At least Echo, get the spelling right. In this case it does make a difference to the meaning. The word is "scalding". Despite what people think, in sensitive reports like this, altering the meaning of things, especially injuries, is misleading and insensitive. Any good journalist or sub should understand the difference between "scald" and "scold". And in this case it is important it is correctly stated. What a sad, unfortunate case. Surely more could have been done for this poor fella. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -6

4:07pm Fri 27 Jun 14

jolllyboy says...

Back pain has many causes and is the most underrated condition. It causes many time off work. It interfers with every day life and very often GPs do nothing much to help. A lot more could and should be done rather than giving pain killers and expecting people to carry on.
It is not cost effective to the NHS not to sort it out. Much more research is required and speciality consultants not just sending people to pain clinics. I was told put heat on mine and just as well I knew it required cold, although if muscular warm helps.
Back pain has many causes and is the most underrated condition. It causes many time off work. It interfers with every day life and very often GPs do nothing much to help. A lot more could and should be done rather than giving pain killers and expecting people to carry on. It is not cost effective to the NHS not to sort it out. Much more research is required and speciality consultants not just sending people to pain clinics. I was told put heat on mine and just as well I knew it required cold, although if muscular warm helps. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

7:07am Sat 28 Jun 14

Popsiepop says...

How sad, poor man Rip x
How sad, poor man Rip x Popsiepop
  • Score: 0
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