A PENSIONER who was admitted to Scarborough Hospital with gallstones died after falling in the shower, an inquest heard.
Clarice Hollingsworth, 89, of Kirby Misperton, near Malton, died on March 22 from her head injuries.
During her inquest at Scarborough County Court, coroner Michael Oakley heard how her internal injuries went unnoticed for hours due to the lack of external symptoms.
A staff nurse, from Scarborough Hospital, spoke at the inquest and explained how the accident occurred on March 7.
She said: “I assisted Clarice to the shower room. I moved her on to the shower chair, which has no back rest.
“I supported her back, but while she was washing she dropped the soap in front of her.
“I went round to pick up the soap. Her initial reaction was to lean backwards so I could get the soap. She lost her balance and fell back off the stool and hit her head on the tiles.
“I went to her straight away to see if she sustained any injury because she hit her head very heavily, but there was no sign of injury.”
The nurse explained that when she got back to the ward she asked the consultant to look at her immediately.
Mrs Clarice was given pain killers for a headache and was subjected to hourly observations for four hours.
The registered nurse who was on duty that night told the inquest how Mrs Hollingsworth seemed fine when she was put to bed.
She said: “She woke about 2.45am and was complaining of a head ache and nausea. I went back an hour later and she was fine. She settled down and went to sleep.
“About 5.45am she woke and said she had a bad head again. We noticed there were blood stains on the pillow.
“When we looked we saw it was coming out of her ear.”
The nurse rang for a doctor who arranged a CT scan, which showed Mrs Hollingsworth was suffering from extensive internal bleeding.
She was transferred to the Intensive Care unit, but died on March 22.
Recording a verdict of accidental death Mr Oakley said: “It is clear that the fact she had a fall on March 7 has led to her death.”