Bathroom fall led to bleed on brain death

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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A former Blackpool shopkeeper hit his head in a fall at home, causing a major bleed in his brain, an inquest has heard.

Robert Edgar Chapman, 88, was prone to dizziness and falls in his later years, which could have been down to the early stages of pneumonia, restricting his oxygen levels.

In November last year he suffered a series of falls in a 24 hour period, the last of which was in the bathroom of his home on Keasden Avenue, South Shore.

He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where doctors discovered a large bleed on his brain which was terminal.

He died in the morning of November 24.

In a statement read to Blackpool Coroner Anne Hind, Mr Chapman’s daughter, Elizabeth Lay, said her father worked as an apprentice draftsman in Stockport for many years before moving to Blackpool and owning a small sweet shop in the town centre for five years.

He held several jobs in the area before he retired in 1989, it added.

Mrs Lay said Mr Chapman started suffering falls three years ago because of dizziness, though doctors could never find a cause for his symptoms.

Mrs Lay and her brother, Steven Chapman, questioned whether treating the cause of the dizziness, likely to be the pneumonia discovered after his death, would have prevented the fall which killed their father.

Mrs Hind said: “Sometimes it’s only possible, sadly, to identify conditions post mortem, but I think from what has been said that the most he could have got was a diagnosis, which does not mean there was a treatment for it.”

Recording a verdict of accidental death, she told Mr Chapman’s children: “I think you looked after him extremely well.

“You may not have known why it was happening, but you did know how the condition manifested itself with these constant falls.

“Age is a terrible thing when it leads to things like this, and this will have been a huge blow to you as a family.”

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