Coroner says tea spill did not cause death

Margaret Young pictured shortly before her death
Margaret Young pictured shortly before her death
A file photo of police

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A CORONER has said that a tea spillage did not contribute to the death of a pensioner.

A verdict was recorded on the death of 73-year-old Margaret Young, yesterday at Portsmouth Guildhall, after four days of evidence and 20 witnesses at an inquest.

Karen Harrold concluded that Mrs Young, known as Maggie, died from sepsis.

Recording a narrative verdict, she said that two factors led to the development of the sepsis including a soft tissue infection, namely cellulitis, and a kidney infection.

The circumstances surrounding Mrs Young’s death were called into question after her widower Peter, and daughter Janet thought staff at Beechcroft Manor, in Gosport, hadn’t treated a wound on her abdomen sufficiently.

They claimed that a tea spillage, which became infected was a contributing factor to Mrs Young’s death.

But after hearing all the evidence and reading the reports, the coroner disagreed.

She said: ‘It was clear from the pathological evidence that Mrs Young was extremely ill in the last few days of her life and her system was shutting down.

‘There were two predominate areas of infection – her kidneys and the wound to her abdomen.

‘However, despite the abdominal wound, her kidney infection was so severe that it was fatal in its own right despite the ongoing antibiotic treatment.’

The coroner also said that since the death of Mrs Young, changes have been made at Beechcroft Manor to ensure procedures are followed correctly.

A spokesperson for the home said: ‘The home has worked closely with all of the appropriate authorities over the past year and has introduced new policies to improve communications, particularly during handover periods and when consulting with GPs.

‘We have also introduced a new wound management plan, further training and internal and external audits to ensure standards are consistently maintained.

‘Mrs Young was a much-loved resident at the home for over a year. Staff and residents were deeply saddened when she died.

‘Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.’