Alzheimer's victim burnt after leaving electric blanket on
A PENSIONER with Alzheimer s disease suffered serious burns after leaving her electric blanket on throughout the night, an inquest heard. Esther Green, aged 75, of The Hedges, St Georges, was discovered lying dead in her bed on April 10 with burns to her
A PENSIONER with Alzheimer's disease suffered serious burns after leaving her electric blanket on throughout the night, an inquest heard.Esther Green, aged 75, of The Hedges, St Georges, was discovered lying dead in her bed on April 10 with burns to her back, thighs and legs.But at an inquest at Flax Bourton Magistrates heard that rigorous tests had proved the blanket to be working properly and it was likely Mrs Green had in fact suffered a heart attack while she slept.The inquest heard how Mrs Green, a retired shop worker, had started to develop Alzheimer's two and a half years ago and was being cared for by her husband Desmond at home.On the night before her death he helped her to bed and looked in on her at 9.30pm and 11pm, checking each time the electric blanket had been turned off.In the morning he woke about 6.30am and went to check on his wife and thought she was still sleeping.Mr Green said: "I let her sleep then went to take her breakfast and could not wake her."I thought she may have had a stroke and I called for an ambulance."When paramedics arrived they discovered the electric blanket was on at its highest heat. They also found she had extensive, although not deep, burns to her thighs, back and legs.Mr Green added: "I checked when she went to bed that the blanket was off."I can only assume she switched it on during the night."The blanket, which the couple bought three weeks before Mrs Green's death, was sent off for checks which revealed although it had been manufactured in 1991, was functioning properly.A post mortem examination, carried out by Doctor David Paterson at Weston General Hospital, revealed no drugs in Mrs Green's system.But he said it did reveal a number of medical complaints such bronchitis, evidence of bronchial pneumonia and her ischaemic heart disease.Dr Paterson said: " I believe Mrs Green suffered a heart attack and died suddenly and then suffered the burns from the electric blanket. It is highly likely her death was as a result of natural causes."Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mrs Green's death.Deputy coroner for the District of Avon, Brian Whitehouse, said: "It is alarming that Mr and Mrs Green bought an electric blanket in 2006 to find it was actually made in 1991."Mr Whitehouse returned a verdict that Mrs Green died from natural causes.