Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Hospital care of fall victim queried

The family of an elderly man who died following a fall in hospital say they are unhappy with the care he received in his final days.

Martin Harvey (83), of Greenore Street in Belfast, had been admitted to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald on March 17 of last year suffering from a number of medical problems.

An inquest into Mr Harvey's death yesterday heard how he had been transferred from Ward 11, where he had suffered a fall, to Ward 20, where he remained for around 10 days.

Shortly before 5am on March 31 Mr Harvey, who was physically frail and suffered from poor vision, suffered a fall while using a commode in a sluice room.

He was returned to bed but around an hour-and-a-half later he got out of bed and fell backwards, banging his head. A CT Scan showed evidence of a subdural haematoma and Mr Harvey died later that day.

Mr Harvey's son Clive, who asked questions of a number of witnesses, queried whether his father would have had the physical strength to get out of bed.

"Can you explain how he got the strength?" he asked, to which a nurse replied: "I can't explain it. All I know is... I witnessed it."

Coroner John Leckey recorded the cause of death as a subdural haematoma due to a fall, against a background of ischaemic heart and brain disease and kidney and chest infection.

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