Nursing home resident, 74, choked to death on chicken he took from someone else’s plate

Barry Lehane was on a controlled ‘fork mashed food’ diet for his own safety and took a piece of chicken off someone else’s plate at Meadow Court Care Home in Aylestone, inquest heard

The resident died of suffocation at the Meadow Court Care Home in Aylestone

A resident of a care home has died after choking on a piece of chicken taken from another person’s plate, an inquest has heard.

Barry Lehane, 74, was on a controlled ‘fork mashed food’ diet for his own safety, it was said.

Barry, who suffered from schizophrenia, was waiting for his lunch of diced chicken curry at the Meadow Court Care Home in Aylestone when he reached out and took the piece of meat from someone else’s meal in November of Last year.

He immediately started choking and passed out as it was not suitable for his diet, LeicestershireLive reports.

Staff rushed to help him and paramedics then gave him CPR and managed to restart his heart.

Tragically, the damage to his brain had already been done, according to the inquest.

An investigation revealed that a resident of a nursing home had choked on a piece of chicken while waiting for his curry dish


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

He was pronounced dead at Leicester Royal Infirmary at 8.45pm that evening, seven hours after arriving at hospital.

Leicestershire Police decided to investigate after concerns were raised about poor record keeping at the home and a whistleblower from a former member of staff.

They interviewed staff and found no third-party responsibility for his death, which was investigated at Leicester Town Hall today.

The inquest heard the former employee who made the allegations to police was fired from the house and was not present during the incident.

Detective Constable Sadie Wells was the investigator and her report was read out at the inquest by Coroner Ivan Cartwright.

The report said there were no suspicious circumstances and no third-party involvement in Barry’s death.

The coroner, summarizing the incident, said: “Mr. Lehane, for reasons which can only be speculated, took a piece of chicken – which was likely to pose a choking hazard to him – before he could give him his lunch. He died of choking on it.

“Mr. Lehane had not breathed for anything in the region of 24 minutes [when he was resuscitated] and he suffered hypoxic brain injury and therefore Mr. Lehane later that day succumbed to that event and died.”

He said staff, who tried to dislodge the chicken with abdominal thrusts and back blows, did all they could. He recorded a finding of accidental death.

The inquest heard that Barry, who was born in Leicester and previously worked as an office manager, suffered from schizophrenia, vascular dementia and bipolar disorder. He was unmarried and had been at the nursing home for about two and a half years.

The Mirror has contacted the care home for comment.

Read more

Read more