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King's Lynn man died of pneumonia after fall at home, inquest told

A 72-year-old man died of pneumonia at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital following a fall at home, an inquest has heard.

The hearing, at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Friday, was told that Derek Wynne, of Lynn, died at the hospital on March 2 this year, just over a week after fracturing his ribs after a fall.

Mr Wynne’s partner Jane Pettit said, in a statement read to the court, that he had fallen over in a street, fracturing his shoulder, and attended A&E at the QEH in the days before his fall at home.

Norfolk Coroner's Court
Norfolk Coroner's Court

He was discharged, and on the evening of Sunday, February 23, Ms Pettit said she had been sleeping, when she was awoken by the sound of a “thump”.

She said she found her partner at the bottom of the stairs and his head was bleeding.

“He had fallen down the stairs after going to the toilet,” Ms Pettit added.

Mr Wynne was taken to A&E at Lynn’s QEH, and by Tuesday, February 25, he had been moved to critical care.

He was put on a ventilator, but by March 1, Ms Pettit said she was told it was likely that this would be removed in the near future.

On March 2, she was contacted by the hospital to tell her that Mr Wynne, who she referred to as ‘Del’, had “deteriorated”.

The court was told that the decision had been made to remove his ventilator that day, and he died “very quickly” afterwards.

The inquest also heard from Lucy Dennell, an orthopaedic surgeon at the QEH, who said, in a statement read to the court, Mr Wynne had right-sided fractures of his ribs and a pneumothorax – a collapsed lung – following the fall on February 23.

She said, during his admission, there were attempts to change his position to improve respiration as there “wasn’t enough oxygen getting to his organs”.

Area coroner for Norfolk Yvonne Blake said: “He had been through quite a bit in the few days before he died.”

Ms Blake concluded that Mr Wynne died at the QEH on March 2 due to pneumonia following a fall which fractured his ribs.

She gave a conclusion of accidental death.

Speaking to Ms Pettit, she said: “I’m very sorry for your loss.”

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