A care home nurse described how he tried to save the life of a choking pensioner at her care home in Bourne.

Joan George, 73, died in the late evening on the 28th September 2016, at Abbey Court Care Home in Bourne after she choked on a sandwich, an inquest heard on Monday 25th March.

Neil Wright, who was on duty at the time and made his way to Mrs George’s room after hearing the emergency bell, described the situation as ‘hectic’ as he gave evidence on the opening day of Mrs George’s inquest at the Cathedral Centre in Lincoln.

Joan George

He said: “I walked into the room and Mrs George was in bed.

“She (Mrs George) was staring motionlessly into space.

“I looked in her mouth and there was bread in her mouth.

“I could see it.

“I had not been able to get it out.

“I started doing back-slaps but this was to no-avail.

“I then did the Heimlich manoeuvre [abdominal thrusts to remove foreign objects from the airways], again to no avail.”

Mr Wright told the inquest he then called 999 and took instructions from the operator who told him to commence stomach presses and to lie her on floor to see if she would start breathing again.

Again this did not work and despite further treatment from paramedics, Mrs George, who had a do not resuscitate order, was pronounced dead a short time later.

Mrs George, who had dementia, also struggled with her mobility.

“She was extremely unsteady on her feat,” Mr Wright added.

“She often reached out and was grabbing hold of something or somebody.”

Mrs George was being fed a sandwich by care assistant Ahibo Attekeble before she choked on it but said she had not received specific training if someone was choking.

“It upset me a great deal with with what I witnessed,” she said.

“I asked her (Mrs George) if she wanted a sandwich and she said ‘yes’.”

The care assistant tore the sandwich into smaller pieces with her hands and placed them into Mrs George’s hands.

After eating around three quarters of the sandwich, Mrs George, who was in bed at the time, began choking.

The inquest was told she started making a grunting-like noise and was reaching out with her hands.

Ms Attekeble, who no longer works at Abbey Court, then called out for her colleagues and went to press the emergency button.

As well as Mr Wright, care assistants Inout ‘John’ Geanana and Luke Masterson, responded to the call for help.

Speaking through a translator, Mr Geanana, who no longer works at Abbey Court, said: “Joan was choking.

“I picked out two pieces of sandwich (out of her mouth).

“She was on the bed.

“The bed was at 45 degrees.”

Mr Geanana confirmed that he had been trained in how to feed patients and to check if there was food in their mouths before giving them more.

Mr Masterson, who no longer works at Abbey Court, said he had known Mrs George before she had gone into hospital following a fall on September 17 and returned to the home two days later.

“She was not as active as she had been previously,” he said.

“She seemed a bit more lethargic.”

He said the bed Mrs George was in at the time of the choking incident was ‘at about 45 degrees’.

When Mr Masterson arrived in the room, he said Mrs George’s “eyes were rolling around in her head and she was gasping”.

He then managed to get some pieces of sandwich out of her mouth after being instructed by Mr Wright to control her airways.

The inquest, which is expected to last until Wednesday, continues.