• Care Home resident died after choking on a lump of pork

    A care home resident from Rochester died after choking on a lump of pork which became stuck in his airway.

    Care home staff say Mr Suggett was chewing slowly and began to go blue in the face. Gerald Suggett, 68, lived at Copperfields Care Home in Villa Road, Higham, in Rochester at the time of the incident.

    An inquest into Mr Suggett’s death resumed at Maidstone Coroner’s Court on the 6th August.

    The court heard how the resident was having a roast dinner at lunchtime when the piece of meat blocked his airway.

    Staff on duty at the time noticed that Mr Suggett was “eating slowly” and when he was asked if all was okay, he did not reply. Care staff Hayley Coake, Jordan Owen and manager, Samantha Cheary, then came to his aid.

    Maidstone Coroner’s Court

    Care worker Ms Coake whilst giving evidence to the coroner said: “I mentioned in passing that Gerald certainly was eating slowly.

    “I asked Gerald if he was OK, he didn’t answer as he was chewing.

    “He was still chewing and making no noise and making no movements.

    “I heard Gerald swallow three times quite deeply, he showed no sign of distress.”

    Despite this Hayley said she knew something was wrong: “I started hitting his back between the shoulder blades where he was sitting.”

    The resident was described as being “blue in the face” even though Ms Coake had hit his back around “30 times” and heard him cough.

    Jordan Owen started to use Abdominal thrusts in an attempt to dislodge the foreign object.

    In a statement, Jordan said: “I’ve not done it before and I did it under Sam’s instruction.

    “He did spit some food up but this did not clear his airways.

    “He was losing oxygen and changing colour.”

    Coroner Alan Blunsdon described Gerald’s death as “tragic” and concluded:

    “It seemed quite clear from evidence that Gerald who was a resident at the care home was having his lunch and initially enjoying his lunch when a piece of meat or other food was stuck in his airways despite the efforts of staff

    Coroner – Alan Blunsdon

    “The food blocked his airways and lead to hypoxic brain injury as a result of cardiac arrest.”

    Mr Suggett was rushed to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford where he was pronounced dead on May 29.

    Mr Suggett’s family were not present at the hearing.