Woman, 72, lay overnight in hall after emergency alarm failure, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 16:17 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 04 May 2020

Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A 72-year-old woman laid for almost 12 hours in her hallway after an alarm system of cords and call boxes for alerting the ambulance had failed to work, an inquest has heard.

Jean Trigg had fallen in her lounge and crawled to pull emergency cords in both that room and her bathroom.

When neither worked she crawled to the hallway where she cried for help but nobody heard her until the next morning when neighbours answered her calls and rang the ambulance.

Mrs Trigg was taken to the James Paget Hospital but died four days later of an acute kidney injury partly due to her long lie overnight in her hallway.

The inquest into her death heard on Monday May 4 that Mrs Trigg, who lived at Wensum Gardens in Lowestoft, had a history of respiratory problems and dizziness which her GP had deemed to put her at an increased risk of falling.

She moved to Wensum Gardens in March last year after a decline in her health and to be closer to her family.

The inquest heard the house is fitted with a pull-cord alarm system in case of emergency, which alerts the ambulance service in Gorleston, with the main call box located in the lounge and more pull cords in other rooms.

An inspection carried out before Mrs Trigg moved into the house found the system was working.

On August 13, at approximately 10pm, Mrs Trigg fell in the lounge, the inquest heard.

After pulling cords in the lounge and bathroom failed to work she crawled to the hallway, where she lay overnight until approximately 9.30 the following morning when neighbours heard her calls and rang the ambulance.

She was taken to the James Paget but her condition deteriorated and she died on August 18.

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The inquest heard a “significant contributing factor” to her death was her long lie after the fall.

Jacqueline Lake, Senior Coroner for Norfolk, concluded Mrs Trigg’s death was due to an accident.

She added that she was satisfied the property management company had taken steps to prevent future deaths.

The full alarm system will now be checked regularly throughout tenancies, the inquest heard.

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