Man (89) died after tripping over neighbour's manhole cover
AN elderly New Milton man died after tripping over a manhole cover on a neighbour’s drive, an inquest heard.
Dennis Saxton, who was 89 and lived at Woodlands Way, sustained massive head injuries in the fall at around midday on 30th September last year, Winchester Coroner’s Court heard.
Prior to the accident, the retired holiday village manager had returned dinner plates to neighbour Vera Temple. He then went to the home of another neighbour to tell them their hedge was overgrown and request it be cut back.
He knocked on the door to speak to them but got no answer, and it was while walking back down their driveway he tripped over the raised manhole cover, the hearing was told.
A statement to the inquest reported Mrs Temple heard Mr Saxton call out for help, and with another neighbour, Roy Strudwick, went to his aid.
They found he had a bleeding head wound and called an ambulance, which arrived around an hour later to take him to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH).
Prior to his hospital arrival, Mr Saxton had not lost consciousness and his vital signs were fine, but his condition “deteriorated rapidly” at RBH’s rapid assessment area.
Medics rushed him to the resuscitation area and a subsequent CT scan found he had suffered traumatic head injuries, including a subdural haematoma and internal bleeding that had spread onto the brain itself.
Staff consulted with neurosurgeons at Southampton Hospital, who advised he was not a candidate for surgery. He was kept comfortable, and died shortly after midday on 1st October last year.
The inquest noted statements from Mr Saxton’s GP, Dr Hannah Rycroft, outlining his extensive medical history.
It revealed Mr Saxton had a history of heart disease and was taking blood thinning medication at the time of his death. That would have caused any wounds he sustained to bleed profusely, the GP added, before describing Mr Saxton as “charming”.
The deceased's son Christopher, who lives in north Wales, said in a statement he had “no concerns” over the care his father received at the hospital.
Mr Saxton suffered from reduced mobility and dizziness in recent years and had experienced two falls in his garden, although neither required hospital treatment, he added.
The inquest also heard Mr Saxton, who was widowed in 2013 following the death of his wife Yvonne, had been planning to move to Wales to be closer to his son and their family.
Summing up, Senior Coroner Grahame Short ruled Mr Saxton’s death was accidental, adding the medication was a “contributory factor”.