Elderly woman choked to death at Salisbury care home, inquest hears


An elderly woman choked to death during breakfast at a Salisbury care home, an inquest has heard.

Salisbury Coroners’ Court heard how 76-year-old Mark Caldwell Quartermain died following the incident at 8.40am on March 12 at Bemerton Lodge care home, which is run by The Orders of St John Care Trust.

The court heard Mrs Quartermain had been eating a full English breakfast in the care home’s dining hall when staff noticed she was red faced and was struggling to breathe, the Salisbury Journal reported

Staff carried out back slaps and abdominal thrusts and called paramedics who arrived within minutes and began administrating CPR.

While paramedics were able to remove some food from Mrs Quartermain’s airwaves they were unable to save her and she was pronounced dead at 9.30am.

The court heard that Mrs Quartermain, who had lived at the home for three years, had no previously recorded issue with swallowing food, had no feeding plan in place and was capable of eating alone.

Assistant coroner Ian Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death.

A spokesperson for The Orders of St John Care Trust said: “We were deeply saddened by the death of Mary Caldwell at Bemerton Lodge in March this year.

“Mary was a wonderful lady who was at the centre of the home’s community and both residents and employees miss her greatly.

“At the time of the tragedy, our carers responded immediately, using the training they had received, and they acted appropriately throughout. It is a matter of profound sadness that on this occasion a more positive outcome could not be achieved.

“We would like to offer our sincere condolences once more to Mary’s loved ones, and all that lived with her and supported her at Bemerton Lodge.”

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