A retired nurse died after a scolding hot cup of tea was spilt on her lap in a care home, an inquest heard today.
Margaret Young from Alverstoke, Gosport, was taken to hospital with wound to her stomach four days after an agency staff worker accidentally scolded her in bed.
The retired geriatric nurse, who was known as Maggie, was very ill and had already survived three bouts of cancer.
But her grieving husband of 55 years claimed the tea spillage was the ‘pushing point’ which killed his wife.
Peter Young, 83, told the coroner he visited Maggie at Beechcroft Manor in Alverstoke and was worried after the worker told him about the accident.
But nursing staff ‘played down’ the seriousness of her injuries.
It was not until the couple’s daughter Janet discovered her mother’s wound three days later that Mrs Young was taken to hospital.
Giving evidence at the inquest in Portsmouth, she said: ‘I was horrified. I saw it didn’t have a dressing on it.
‘I went to see one of the nurses and she said it was just part of her dying and I would have to accept that.
‘It was quite shocking. I was not aware of the wound at the time. It was quite horrendous.’
Miss Young said staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital were shocked at her mother’s condition when they arrived just after midnight on June 18 last year. She died two days later.
The 72-year-old patient had been living at the care home after coming out of hospital following a fall in spring of 2011 and was unwell. She had already been prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection.
Mr Young told the coroner Karen Harrold that, although his wife was ill, he believed the tea spillage had caused her death.
He said: ‘The pushing point was the tea accident. It was the point she started deteriorating. It took an affect straight away.’
The inquest continues.