Man, 79, suffered fatal head injury in fall two minutes from home, inquest hears

Man, 79, suffered fatal head injury in fall two minutes from home, inquest hears

A 79-year-old man sustained a fatal head injury as he made his way home from a dinner function, an inquest heard.

Christopher Baker from Lorcan Avenue, Santry Dublin 9, was found lying on a path by a passing driver. Malcolm Bolton was driving down Ballyshannon Road in Coolock shortly after midnight on December 8 when he saw a man lying on the footpath.

He stopped to help and the injured man was taken by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital.

Mr Baker had good mobility and walked 5km every morning, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

The elderly man, who had been socialising at an event for retired bus drivers, was due to be dropped home on a bus but this did not happen.

His family tried to trace his movements that night but it is not known how he came to be walking home with conditions underfoot described as ‘slippy.’ He was less than two minutes from home when he fell.

The married father of two suffered a skull fracture in the fall and doctors performed surgery to relieve swelling on the brain.

Family said he regained consciousness and spoke to them on December 11, but in early January his condition had not improved and he passed away on January 11 2018, almost five weeks after the initial fall.

The man’s daughter, Miriam Baker said the family felt they had been ‘too polite’ about their father’s care in hospital and she said they felt they should have "shouted louder" about their concerns. She said the family "had been left with a lot of questions".

In response, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said she would contact the hospital to facilitate a meeting between the family and the consultant involved in Mr Baker’s care.

“It’s difficult...You cannot predict how a person will react; one person will recover while another will not. Each case is different,” the coroner said.

The cause of death was a lack of blood supply to the brain, due to swelling and pressure resulting from injuries sustained in the un-witnessed fall.

“He sustained a significant head injury, it suggests there was a heavy impact,” the coroner said, returning a verdict of accidental death.

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