Tea spill may not have played a part in death

INQUEST Margaret Young
INQUEST Margaret Young
Julie Corben

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DOCTORS who treated a pensioner shortly before her death disagreed on whether an alleged tea spillage contributed to her death.

In the final day of evidence, an inquest heard accounts from several different doctors who treated Margaret Young, a resident of Beechcroft Manor Nursing Home.

The death of the 72-year-old, from Alverstoke, Gosport, was called into question after her family felt the nurses didn’t deal with a wound appropriately.

As previously reported, it is alleged that a hot cup of tea was spilled on Mrs Young, on June 12, last year.

Five days after the incident, she was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital with an infected wound near her stomach.

She died three days later.

Dr Nicholas Peters, a general medical practitioner, treated Mrs Young on June 16 after being called out by nurses at the care home.

He said: ‘I got told by the agency nurse that the day staff had been concerned about a wound on Mrs Young’s abdomen.

‘I examined Mrs Young in bed and my impression was she was very unwell.

‘She was semi-conscious and was not responding.’

When asked by Lincoln Brooks, representing the care home, if the tea spillage would have contributed to the death of Mrs Young, Dr Peters said it was unlikely.

He added: ‘At the time of her death, Mrs Young was suffering from urinary tract infection.

‘This could have been the reason for the cellulitis.

‘An inside infection could have caused the redness on her abdomen.’

But Dr Ann Dowd, a consultant geriatrician, said that such circumstances seemed unlikely. She said a scold or any break in the skin can lead to infection.

Dr Dowd, who looked after Mrs Young at QA, said: ‘For me, as soon as the wound on Mrs Young’s abdomen started to change, for example get blisters, she should have been taken to hospital.

‘But it is impossible to say whether this would have prolonged her life or not.

‘All we can say is that it might have been different, but she was a very ill woman.

‘But for me, for an internal infection to cause a wound like that is unlikely.’

A verdict is expected from the coroner on Thursday.