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Man choked to death on rubber glove.

Byline: DAVID POWELL Daily Post Reporter

A 66-YEAR-old dementia patient who died from choking on a latex glove had two similar "hardened, blackened" gloves in his stomach, an inquest heard.

Peter Furness' lips were turning blue and his airway was partially blocked during the incident at Nant y Gaer Hall nursing home in Llay, Wrexham.

But the coroner also heard the retired steel rigger had a history of swallowing non-edible items - including a two and a half inch plastic duck, his own faeces and a kitchen roll tissue.

John Gittins, North East Wales Coroner sitting in Ruthin, concluded he died from accidental death at the 30-resident home on October 13 last year.

Police found no evidence of manslaughter or wilful neglect. But the coroner said he would be writing to home owner Graham Allen insisting concerns about choking are documented in future.

The inquest heard it was not known how Mr Furness found the gloves.

Employee Ashley Davies told the hearing how staff tried heart massage and dialled 999 when Mr Furness choked, then paramedics took over.

Angela Evans, a senior nurse, said she tried the Heimlich manoeuvre but couldn't dislodge the glove.

Mr Furness was pronounced dead at the home. Dr Mark Atkinson, who carried out a post mortem examination, said: "There was a white latex glove poking from the top of the larynx but more or less entirely in the airway, touching most of the trachea along its full length.

"Within the stomach there were two folded, hardened, blackened similar gloves which had probably been in the stomach for a considerable time."

The cause of death was choking on a latex glove due to dementia.

Widow Amy Furness, who had met her husband in the Philippines and married in Hong Kong, told the hearing she had urged the home staff to be aware he was at risk of choking.

Carer Barbara Pye said since the death staff put latex gloves in bumbags or locked them away. "It's pushed into you - lock, lock, lock," she told the inquest.

The coroner said: "From all the evidence everyone knew a risk existed and yet ultimately this tragedy occurred. I need to be assured for your existing residents that if incidents of that kind occur there's a formal process to ensure the risks are immediately mitigated or reduced."

Liz Hull, the home's manager now but not at the time of the death, said care plans are now audited monthly and multi disciplinary team meetings held.

A report is due following an inspection by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales, and the Health and Safety Inspectorate would now consider whether to take any action pending the coroner's conclusions.

Son Daryll Furness said later: "He is in our thoughts and is sorely missed."


The home where | Peter Furness, 66, died

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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