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Man died due to punctured lung after fall at West Norfolk home, inquest hears

A 77-year-old man from West Dereham died following a fall at his home in March, an inquest has heard.

The hearing, held at Norwich Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, was told that Alan Johnson suffered a series of falls prior to his death on March 16.

Mr Johnson’s son Robert Johnson said, in a statement read to the court, that his father had fallen 10 days prior to his death.

Inquest report (23323495)
Inquest report (23323495)

“He would never make a fuss. He worked in the building trade, and he would not show any reaction to pain,” he said.

“10 days before his death he had a bad fall, on the hard arm of the sofa, causing him to cry out in pain, which was not like him.”

The inquest heard he was seen by a triage nurse at his GP surgery in Downham, and some checks were undertaken, before he was allowed home.

Mr Johnson said his father became “more uncomfortable” in the following days, and was experiencing difficulty in breathing.

On March 16, Mr Johnson’s partner called for an ambulance as he was “scared because he couldn’t breathe and was in so much pain”.

Paramedic Amy Mimer said, in a statement read to the court, that she attended Mr Johnson’s address that evening after reports that his condition had deteriorated during the course of the day.

She told the court that she and a colleague wanted to get Mr Johnson out of the chair he was in and into the ambulance, but it was not possible to bring the stretcher trolley to the patient due to the layout of the house.

“We discussed whether he would be able to walk the distance to the door, there was no other way to extract him,” she said.

The court heard that Mr Johnson took two steps before falling forward onto his knees.

He was unresponsive, having suffered a cardiac arrest, and CPR was started, but stopped after 20 minutes with no response.

Assistant coroner Simon Milburn said Mr Johnson’s medical cause of death was pneumothorax – a lung puncture – caused by a rib fracture, which was the result of a fall.

Mr Milburn concluded that Mr Johnson’s death was due to an accident.

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