Woman died after taking overdose in Accident and Emergency
2:00pm Saturday 28th July 2012 in News
A woman who took a drugs overdose while sitting in Accident and Emergency, died hours later following cardiac arrest.
Elizabeth Feery was taken to Croydon University Hospital for observation, after complaining she felt suicidal at her home in South Norwood High Street.
The 24-year-old mother-of-one, who had a history of mental health problems, was taken to the hospital at about 4.15am on January 8, 2010, where paramedic George Finch said he handed over her medication to a nurse.
Mr Finch said: "She had placed them [her medication] in a paper bag. As far as I remember the medication was left with the nurse."
But triage nurse Rose Amankwaah said no tablets were ever handed to her on the patient's behalf.
Giving evidence at Croydon Coroners Court, Ms Amankwaah said the first she knew of the tablets was when she was called over by the ambulance crew.
She said: "One of the ambulance crew was calling me saying 'nurse come.' He said he saw Elizabeth taking some tablets. I rushed to her and she was sitting there with a pharmacy envelope containing a lot of tablets."
The court heard as Miss Feery's condition deteriorated she was moved to the high dependency unit, but on her way there she suffered a cardiac arrest.
On reaching the department she suffered second cardiac arrest and died.
An autopsy found a mixture of drugs were in Miss Feery's blood at the time she died, including cocaine metabolite and quetiapine, a drug used to treat schizophrenia.
The cause of death was mixed drug intoxication.
Recording a verdict of misadventure, Coroner Dr Roy Palmer told Miss Feery's mum, Tina Cumber: "I am sorry you lost you daughter in sad and tragic circumstances."