Sandridge centenarian dies after operation

Coroner's Court.

Coroner's Court. - Credit: Archant

A “remarkable” centenarian died accidently after suffering complications from an operation to repair her femur following an unwitnessed fall, a coroner has ruled.

Catherine Burrows, of High Street in Sandridge, passed away on March 3 2013 at Watford General Hospital when she contracted bronchopneumonia, an infection of the lungs.

An inquest heard the 104-year-old, who was in general good health, fell at Lyndon Residential Home in Sandridge in the early hours of February 23 and fractured her femur. Shortly after the operation on February 26 Catherine became delirious and began to deteriorate in hospital.

The operating surgeon Mr Debashi Rasu said one of the prime reasons they carried out the operation was because if the fracture had been left untreated Catherine would have been in a great deal of pain and it would have been difficult to nurse her.

He added that the risks of not operating were even higher than the risks of not performing the surgery.

Summarising, West Herts Coroner Edward Thomas said: “Technically the operation was a success, she got through it, but she does have this condition that she developed the bronchopneumonia.

“I’m satisfied the bronchopneumonia arose out of the procedure which was necessary.”

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Mr Thomas said Catherine was the oldest person he had come across in an inquest and added: “If I was like her at 104 I’d be quite happy.

“What a lovely lady she must have been.”

He ruled she died an accidental death.