Seaford woman died after her actions during a ‘nocturnal psychotic episode’
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Sylvia Lim died at Eastbourne DGH on October 13 2019 days after being admitted to hospital for taking an overdose of her blood pressure medication.
An inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (December 17) heard Mrs Lim, of Corsica Road, was struggling with the death of her mother the previous year and was suffering from hallucinations and confusion ever since.
Mrs Lim went on holiday to Greece with her daughter, Claire Lim, just before she died.
Claire Lim said the second half of the holiday was when her mother started to hallucinate and eventually had a ‘nocturnal psychotic episode’ according to East Sussex coroner James Healy-Pratt.
Claire Lim said, “She said some odd things. She wasn’t herself.”
When the pair returned to the country, her GP Ian Bayles prescribed her anti-psychotic medication and referred her to Hill Rise, a risk and assessment service in Newhaven on October 1.
In the early hours of October 4 Mrs Lim woke her daughter to tell her she had taken an overdose of her blood pressure pills.
An ambulance was called and Mrs Lim was brought onto the Intensive Care Unit of Eastbourne DGH where treatment was escalated throughout the day according to Dr Andrew Corner.
Dr Corner said on December 5 Mrs Lim was put into an induced coma when her condition started to worsen.
Mrs Lim’s health deteriorated further and on December 13 she was suffering from multiple organ failure. Mrs Lim’s family met and it was decided that life support would be turned off.
Mr Healy-Pratt came to a narrative conclusion. He said, “Mrs Lim inadvertently took a medication overdose with an unintended fatal effect.”
From issues raised by the family, a serious incident report also featured in the inquest.
Mr Simon Hellyer, service manager of the assessment and treatment service at the NHS Sussex Partnership, said that two changes have been made as a result of Mrs Lim’s death.
Risk assessments are now done at the triage stage of assessment in order to recognise whether a patient is a potential risk to themselves at an earlier point in treatment.
Teams are now working more collaboratively with carers too. So although the confidentiality rules still stand, the best interest of the patient is always the priority when it comes to sharing information with their carers/family.
My Healy-Pratt concluded that he believed the necessary changes have now been made.