A patient died following an unwitnessed fall in Hereford County Hospital, an inquest has found.
Bernard Ray Brown, aged 64, was admitted to the hospital after collapsing at home. A former salesman, he was suffering with alcoholic liver disease.
The inquest heard from consultant Dr Ingrid DuRand, who explained that, when Mr Brown was admitted to hospital, he had an elevated heart rate and a swollen abdomen.
Following admission, an ascetic tap was inserted to drain the fluid from Brown’s abdomen, he had a CT scan of his brain and he was moved to Frome Ward. No abnormalities were noted.
However, soon after his admission to the ward, Mr Brown was found collapsed on the floor a distance from his bed. Dr DuRand stated that she believed the fall was as a result of an alcohol withdrawal related seizure.
Mr Brown was then moved to a high visibility area when neurological observations were carried out on a four-hourly basis. When his condition deteriorated he was moved to the intensive care unit but he died on three days after his first admission. A further CT scan showed that he had suffered a catastrophic bleed on the brain.
Herefordshire coroner Mark Bricknell recorded the death as accidental and concluded that it was a result of a subarachnoid and intracerebral haemorrhage caused by the unwitnessed fall.
Ally Taft, partner at Medical Accident Group, said; “The fact that an accident within the hospital was the cause of Mr Brown’s death is extremely concerning. Safety of patients should be a top priority.”
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