Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Man died after falling out of bed at Basildon Hospital
4:30pm Friday 1st March 2013 in Local News
A FRAIL man who was almost blind and walked with a zimmer frame suffered irreversible brain damage when he fell out of a hospital bed.
Herbert Ward’s family alleged failings in his care meant he was able to get up in the middle of the night and suffer the fatal head injury.
An inquest has ruled he died as a result of an accident.
The hearing in Chelmsford on Wednesday, February 27 was told Mr Ward, 70, of Pound Crescent, Colchester, died because of the traumatic head injury he suffered, but was at risk of sudden death at any time due to severe disease in his heart.
He was admitted to Basildon Hospital on February 24 last year for a stent procedure to open blocked arteries.
Dr Kar Tang, consultant cardiologist at Colchester and Basildon hospitals, said the operation was challenging and although he was able to unblock two of his three blocked arteries it was not a perfect result.
Arrangements were made to unblock the third artery six weeks later and Mr Ward was kept in overnight so anti-clotting drugs could be administered through a drip and his condition monitored.
It was during the overnight stay while on bed rest at the hospital’s Roding Ward he fell.
The fall was not seen by staff but they heard a loud thud and found Mr Ward unresponsive on the floor.
Vanessa Marshall, barrister representing the family, said Mr Ward was trying to get up to use the bathroom.
She asked nurses why bed railings were not used when he was at risk of falling, why incontinence pads or a catheta were not considered and why a bottle for him to urinate in was initially put on top of his bedside locker and later in a cradle on the bed when he was would struggle to see it.
Miss Marshall also said depsite being instructed to use a call bell to get nurses attention, he ignored their advice.
Staff nurse Wendy Reid said the railings were mainly used when transferring patients and could not be used as a form of restraint.
She said: “If a patient wants to get out of bed they will find a way, they could try to climb over them which means they would fall from a greater height.”
Hospital staff said all the necessary risk assessments were carried out and said Mr Ward was fully aware of where he was and understood that he needed to use the bottle, rather than getting up to use the toilet.
Recording the verdict, Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray said she hoped lessons that could be learnt, would be learnt and that the hospital is constantly reviewing it’s protocols and policies.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “We extend our condolences to Herbert Ward’s family.
“Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust aims to provide all of its patients with good and safe care.”
Comments are closed on this article.