US tourist died of head injuries following hotel fall, inquest hears

US tourist died of head injuries following hotel fall, inquest hears

By Louise Roseingrave

A US tourist died of head injuries following a fall in a bathroom in Westport, Co Mayo.

Frances McDowell, 80, from the state of Pennsylvania was visiting Ireland with his daughter when he fell on June 23 2016.

He was staying at the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport and was taking a shower when the accident happened, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

Hotel manager Deirdre Shevlin received a call from the man’s daughter and went to the room. He was lying on his back on the bathroom floor and was alert and answering questions. Asked how he had fallen, Mr McDowell told the hotel manager he’d been washing his hair in the sink before turning around to get into the shower.

“He said he lost his balance and grabbed the shower curtain but it didn’t hold him,” Ms Shevlin said in her deposition.

The man was brought to Mayo General Hospital where tests revealed he had suffered a head injury. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital for further treatment but his condition deteriorated and he died on June 30.

The cause of death was cerebral oedema due to hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy due to multi compartmental haemorrhage occurring after a fall.

Anti-coagulation therapy was a contributory factor in his death according to pathologist Dr Jane Cryan.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane returned a verdict of accidental death.

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