Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Death Blamed on Mushroom

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Death Blamed on Mushroom

Article excerpt

Byline: By Robert Brooks

Social service bosses are to be ordered by a coroner to explain their role in the care of a woman who died after taking ill at a North-East home.

Sylvia Surphlis, 77, died after suffering a violent reaction to a meal which contained mushrooms, despite them being on a list of foods ( compiled by Northumberland County Council ( that she should "avoid". Now social services bosses are to be questioned over the details of the care plan they provided to the Bridge View Care Home, Stakeford, near Ashington.

An inquest yesterday heard that Mrs Surphlis died of pneumonia which it is believed was triggered when she was violently ill after being served mushrooms.

North Northumberland coroner Ian McCreath adjourned the hearing so he can question social service officials after the woman's daughter raised questions over the care plan provided to the home.

Mrs Eleanor Kirkwood, told the hearing she believed there was a problem with the care plan. She said it listed the foods she had a reaction to but only stated that she should

"avoid" eating them, rather than spelling out the impact of what would happen if she did.

Mr McCreath said: "To suggest that Mrs Surphlis `avoids' these things is almost saying that she simply did not like them, not that she could not have them at all. I am a little concerned that after such warnings, there appears to have been something of a communication break-down."

The hearing heard that Mrs Surphlis had survived cancer during her early forties, but could not eat certain foods because part of her intestine had been removed during the treatment.

Mushrooms, nuts and oranges, caused her intense stomach pains.

The inquest heard Mrs Surphlis had mushrooms with breakfast at home on February 26.

She became ill shortly after, and died in Wansbeck General Hospital the next day from pulmonary failure. …

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