Elderly woman choked to death on sandwich at Eastbourne home

A 98-year-old woman choked on a peanut butter sandwich at an Eastbourne nursing home, an inquest has heard.

Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155116008
Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190425-155116008

German born Elsa Bayer had been a resident at Coppice Court Care Home in Willingdon Road for four years.

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall today (Thursday) heard how the mother of two had been given soup and a sandwich by care staff in the home’s dining room on the afternoon of June 13 this year.

Senior care assistant Frederick Tungul said he noticed Mrs Bayer, a retired clerical assistant, was choking and waving her hands for assistance.

He said he slapped her on the back and together with other staff tried to remove a piece of bread from her throat.

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    Ambulance crews were called and paramedic Georgina Gill was able to dislodge the piece of bread but despite efforts to revive Mrs Bayer, she passed away.

    The inquest heard there had been a previous incident when she had choked at the home and that she was placed on a low risk choking register.

    The home’s manager Juliette Wills said Mrs Bayer loved her food and although she had some difficulty chewing her food, was able to eat fish and chips without difficulty.

    Mr Tungul described Mrs Bayer as a “lovely remarkable lady who had retained all her faculties but needed help walking”.

    Mrs Bayer’s family thanked staff at their home for caring for her and looking after her so well.

    East Sussex coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of accidental death.