• Care Home resident dies after choking during pub lunch visit

    A frantic effort to prevent a care home resident from choking whilst on a trip to pub lunch took place in a South Wales restaurant, an inquest has heard.

    John Owen Cole, 82, of Elliots Hill Care Home, Haverfordwest, died on the 21st February this year at Withybush Hospital.

    At the inquest into his death on Thursday, 25th July, Jeremy Davies, coroner’s officer for Dyfed-Powys Police in Pembrokeshire told the court about Mr Cole’s life.

    Mr Cole had worked on his family farm for many years and lived there until he was unable to continue working in the 1990s.

    He had suffered from mental health issues in the past, but medical professionals had not been able to provide a diagnosis for him.

    He moved to Elliot’s Hill in 2011, after medical staff at Withybush realised he needed prompting to look after his basic needs and considered diagnosing him with Parkinsons and Dementia.

    Mr Cole spent time in the garden at Elliots Hill and went walking and for drives in the country with help from care staff.

    ONS Choking Statistics - Dechoker UK

    On the 16th February, Mr Cole joined another resident and two carers from Elliots Hill at the Lost Coins for lunch.

    According to Mr Davies’ report, food became lodged in Mr Cole’s throat, “he was unable to cough and it was clear he was choking.”

    Withybush Hospital

    An off-duty nurse was able to dislodge the food from his throat and Mr Cole was able to speak, indicating his airway was clear, but he sat down and was still not well.

    An ambulance was called, the nurse put him in the recovery position, and a senior member of staff from Elliots Hill performed CPR.

    Mr Cole was taken to Withybush Hospital where his condition deteriorated over the next few days.

    He died on Thursday, 21st February 2019

    A report on the cause of death was carried out without a post-mortem examination, which said Mr Cole had died as a result of respiratory arrest brought on by choking.

    The report added dementia was a contributing factor in his death.

    Mark Layton, the coroner for Pembrokeshire concluded Mr Cole’s death was accidental.

    “I conclude Mr John Cole was in declining health. He choked on food which ultimately led to respiratory arrest resulting in his death,” said Mr Layton.

    Source: https://www.milfordmercury.co.uk/