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Diss nursing home resident died after falling from wheelchair - when friend let go to take a photograph of ducklings

09:31 16 July 2014

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the Coroner

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the Coroner's Court is situated in the ground floor. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

An inquest has heard how a Diss nursing home resident died in a fall from her wheelchair after it lurched forward when the friend pushing it let go to take a photograph of some ducklings.

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Jane Sloan, 81, was being pushed by friend Jane Miller when they stopped to watch a duck and ducklings near to a pond at Walcot Hall Nursing Home, in Walcot Green on June 25.

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard yesterday how Mrs Sloan, known as Jean, asked her friend to take a photograph of the ducklings. But as Mrs Miller reached for her iPad to take a photo, she let go of the wheelchair.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said: “As she did so the chair moved forward. She did go to grab it but then Mrs Sloan then fell out of the chair.”

Mrs Miller, who said in a statement that the wheelchair had not been on a noticeable slope, ran for help and paramedics were called. However Mrs Sloan, who had been in a wheelchair since having a stroke in August, 2013, died at the scene.

A post mortem examination found she had died from a ruptured spleen due to the fall. It found there were also contributory factors of ischaemic and hypertensive heart disease, but these were not directly linked to the cause of death.

Mrs Lake said police had investigated and were satisfied there was nothing suspicious and that there were no problems with the wheelchair.

She said: “In the light of the events leading to her death my conclusion is accidental death.”

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