Family's Call at Death of Loved Father

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), December 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Family's Call at Death of Loved Father


Byline: By Sonia Sharma

A family wants action against the person responsible for giving their father a larger than normal dose of sedative before his death.

It was initially felt Fred Brown, 86, may have died after extra doses of clomethiazole were given him.

Gateshead coroner Terence Carney adjourned an inquest into his death for more inquiries.

But forensic tests have revealed Mr Brown was not affected by the drug at the time of his death. Pathologist Mark Egan said the cause of death was respiratory failure exacerbated by emphysema.

An inquiry was launched after Mr Brown died in September last year. It centred around the treatment he received at residential home The Hollies at Pinewoods, Winlaton, Gateshead, before his death.

A South African nurse was questioned then released over the death. The 59-year-old had her passport removed but was later free to leave the country after advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.

A re-convened inquest heard Mr Brown was found a place at The Hollies and after settling in he became upset and agitated.

Doctors prescribed the sedative to calm him with the normal dose of one capsule at night.

On September 16 he was upset after he had smashed a glass door and was prescribed two capsules.

Later he was given two more and drifted into unconsciousness. The next day he was taken to hospital.

He remained unconscious until the Saturday when he became lucid. But early on Sunday he died.

Toxicologist Michael Hammond said blood samples taken when Mr Brown was admitted to hospital showed a high reading of the sedative but not in the fatal range. …

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