Dalkey wife Breede Twohig, 97, who died days after breaking a leg at the Altadore nursing home, waited 48 hours for an X-ray

Ms Twohig said her mother told her she felt sore and in great pain after the incident

A hearing of the Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard that on February 13, 2021, Breede Twohig experienced an assisted fall while being cared for by a healthcare worker at Altadore Care Home in Glenageary, Co Dublin.

Ms Twohig, a widow and mother of five from Dalkey, County Dublin, died five days later at St Vincent’s University Hospital, where she was admitted after X-rays confirmed she had suffered two fractured femurs (thigh bones).

Her daughter, Dorothy Twohig, told the inquest that she was notified of the fall by the nursing home on the evening of February 13, 2021.

Ms Twohig said her mother told her she felt sore and in great pain after the incident.

She said she contacted the nursing home the next day to ask a doctor to check on her mother as she was “in a distressed state” during a video chat.

The witness said Altadore staff emphasized to her that her mother did not suffer a fall but “an assisted fall.”

The investigation found that Dr. Aiden Jennings, a doctor on call, was unable to determine the cause of Ms. Twohig’s pain.

dr Jennings did not recommend an X-ray at the time and prescribed acetaminophen for the pain, but did recommend checking her condition the next day.

However, Dorothy Twohig, who was unable to attend the care home due to Covid-19 restrictions, said her mother continued to complain of severe pain in her legs.

Ms Twohig said she was relieved the next day when Altadore informed her that her mother was being sent for an X-ray and that care home staff felt no urgency on the matter.

She said she was confused when she received a voice message around 7pm telling her to contact Altadore as her mother was being taken to St Vincent’s emergency room.

She said she was “beyond shock” when the hospital confirmed her mother suffered fractures in both her legs.

Ms Twohig said it never occurred to her that her mother might have broken her legs in the fall as she had been assured her mother’s pain was due to bruising.

Upon examination, St Vincent’s doctors concluded that surgery on Ms. Twohig was unsafe given her condition and advanced age.

Although she was aware that anyone could fall, Ms Twohig’s daughter said she could not accept that it had taken 48 hours for her mother to be sent for an X-ray.

“It should have happened and it could have saved her life,” she said.

Ms Twohig said she believes the outcome would have been “a very different one” if the restrictions on visiting care homes had not been in place at the time.

“I would have seen my mother and the extent of her injuries instead of relying on a doctor and texting,” Ms Twohig said. “I have been assured that she has been properly examined by professionals.

She understood what an assisted fall was, but it made “no sense” that someone could suffer fractures as a result of such a fall.

Responding to questions from her own lawyer, Billy Brick, Ms Twohig said she had not received much information about her mother’s condition from the nursing home.

Ms Twohig said her mother was a very robust, fit and healthy woman who drove and lived independently until she required surgery for cervical stenosis at the age of 92.

However, she said her mother never fully recovered from the surgery and moved into the Altadore nursing home.

Ten years earlier, she had also undergone surgery for arthritis that affected both knees.

A nurse in Altadore, Ana Turcu, said she was informed about Ms Twohig’s assisted fall by a health worker about ten minutes after the fall.

In response to questions from coroner Clare Keane, Ms Turcu said she did not remember if she went to see Ms Twohig to check on her but did not think there was any major injury as the assistant told the resident helped to “walk softly”. on the ground”.

Altadore’s Director of Nursing, Rachel Gallogly, told the inquiry that all staff at the nursing home have been briefed on its fall prevention policy and have received training in manual handling and fall prevention.

Questioned by Mr Brick, Ms Gallogly said that the nurse in charge of a resident was responsible for decisions relating to x-rays.

The inquest obtained medical records from the nursing home which indicated Ms Twohig most likely sustained soft tissue injuries in the fall but said she was to remain under surveillance for the following 48 hours.

Other medical records indicate that Ms Twohig was “very pale, sweating and in a lot of pain” shortly before she was admitted to hospital.

It was also recorded that the toes of one foot were “a purple color” and her legs could not be touched while she was “screaming in pain”.

In a written statement, SVUH surgeon Paul Curtin said Ms Twohig’s lower legs were “stained” when she arrived, while she also had an elevated white blood cell count and kidney problems.

Regarding the cause of death, Dr. Keane that there was no doubt that the broken legs were a cause.

However, the coroner said Ms Twohig also suffered from sepsis and she could not rule out that she may have had a urinary tract infection before the fall, which would also have contributed to her death.

She said it was also unclear whether Covid-19, which Ms Twohig contracted in December 2020, played any role.

dr Coming to a narrative verdict, Keane sent his condolences to Ms Twohig’s loved ones on the death of an “incredible woman”.

https://www.sundayworld.com/news/irish-news/dublin-woman-97-who-died-days-after-breaking-legs-in-nursing-home-waited-48-hours-for-x-ray/a968932932.html Dalkey wife Breede Twohig, 97, who died days after breaking a leg at the Altadore nursing home, waited 48 hours for an X-ray


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