Pensioner died after garden fall - inquest

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An 89-year-old woman died the day after she fell in her garden and lay outside for five hours, an inquest heard.

Hilda Mary Tuffs, of Breckland Avenue, Lakenheath, was found by her daughter, Christine Smith, at about 3.15pm on September 25, 2013, lying on the path near the back door of her home.

An inquest at the Active Business Centre in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday heard how the pensioner had lain where she fell having been unable to get up.

Her daughter found a cushion to put under her head and make her more comfortable and called for an ambulance.

When the paramedics arrived they tried to help her sit up, but she said she felt dizzy.

They found no obvious signs of a head injury, but she was hypothermic, hypotensive and had cuts on her leg, the inquest heard.

Mrs Tuffs was taken by ambulance to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where she remained unwell and died the following day after her condition deteriorated.

A post mortem by Dr Mahomed Dada, consultant histopathologist at West Suffolk Hospital, gave the cause of death as hypothermia combined with the effects of the fall outside her home.

Assistant coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone recorded a narrative verdict that she died as a result of the fall and the consequences of laying outside for some time