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Brandon woman with alcohol problems refused medical help hours before death, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 10:50 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 02 August 2017

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Archant

A 31-year-old Brandon woman with a history of alcohol problems refused ambulance help just hours before her death following a fall down the stairs at her home, an inquest has heard.

Kathryn Swan, 31, of Warren Close in Brandon fell down the stairs at her home at around 1.30am on July 25 last year, having spent the day drinking wine.

She crashed into a glass-topped table near the foot of the stairs as she fell, landing on her side, the inquest heard.

But despite her husband Nigel offering to call an ambulance on several occasions, Mrs Swan refused medical help, and asked to be carried to her bed.

The inquest heard that Mr Swan put her into bed and fetched her water, before going to bed in his own room.

Mr Swan said that he got up at 7.30am the next day and after she did not stir for two hours went to check on her, where he found her lying on her back unresponsive.

Paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.

A post-mortem examination found she had cuts on her arm and hand – believed to be as a result of falling into the table – and had suffered a rupture to her liver as a result of the fall.

The postmortem report added that there was an increased risk of liver trauma as a result of “chronic alcohol abuse”.

The postmortem confirmed there were no signs of injuries which would indicate abuse.

The inquest heard a toxicology report found 310mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in her body – well above the 80mg per 100ml drink-drive limit.

The inquest heard she was considered an alcoholic, and also suffered from depression and anxiety. She also had a history of refusing medical help.

Concluding the inquest at Beacon House in Ipswich yesterday, assistant coronor Nigel Parsley said that while she had suffered from anxiety and depression, it was not a contributing factor in her death.

He added: “It would appear that Kathryn has struggled and fallen from the stairs, landing on a coffee table at the bottom of the stairs that has led her to rupture her liver. She was more predisposed to those ruptures on the basis of the alcohol consumption over a long period of time.”

Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion of accidental death as a result of an abdominal haemorrhage, caused by a fall which left her rupturing her liver.

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