Man died of hypothermia

A 58-YEAR-OLD man developed terminal hypothermia in a Suffolk care home, an inquest has heard.

A 58-YEAR-OLD man developed terminal hypothermia in a Suffolk care home, an inquest has heard.

David Andrews, a Downs Syndrome sufferer, had resided at the Savannah Lodge care home in Ipswich for more than seven years before he died unexpectedly on January 19.

An inquest into his death, held at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich, heard a thorough police investigation found temperatures at the home to be satisfactory and there was no evidence to suggest he had been outside in the hours leading up to his death.

The court heard how Mr Andrews became unusually aggressive towards staff members at the Hatfield Road home on January 14, uplifting tables and attempting to bite a worker. His actions forced the owner to call out a doctor who administered medication to calm him down.

Joel Mokone, who was on duty at Savannah Lodge that night, told the inquest how Mr Andrews did not seem his normal self and refused to go up to bed, despite understanding there was a busy schedule of activities planned the next day.

He said: “He was not actively responding to me and he was just sitting on the sofa refusing to talk. He kept ignoring me and fell asleep, so I covered him in a quilt.

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“He was still breathing but I am not so sure he was comfortable.”

Mr Mokone added he did everything he could to look after him that night and was “confident” he did not go outside at any point.

In the morning he said he was “cold to touch” but still breathing, causing them to call paramedics.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward from Ipswich CID, who led the investigation into the death, said Mr Andrews was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he later passed away on January 19.

He said subsequent tests by medical experts determined he had died from complications arising from hypothermia, in all probability caused by significantly high levels of a thyroid stimulating hormone which the experts said was a problem with associations to Downs Syndrome.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean, recording a narrative verdict, said the hormones had risen remarkably, causing significant problems to arise.

A post mortem examination determined Mr Andrews' cause of death was from complications arising from hypothermia occurring against a background of hypothyroidism.

After the hearing Mr Andrew's niece, Heidi Gooch, paid tribute to Suffolk police for all their work and said she was satisfied with the findings.