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Stafford war veteran died days after hospital falls

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

ERNIE

ERNIE

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Ernie Yates, who braved freezing conditions and the threat of Nazi attack during his Second World War Navy service, died peacefully in Stafford Hospital on May 3.

The former Newsletter circulation manager, who lived in Anson Drive, was just four days from his 90th birthday when he died.

Cannock Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday that Mr Yates had been healthy throughout most of his life but was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2013. He underwent heart surgery at University Hospital of North Staffordshire in March, and was discharged.

Four days later he was admitted to Stafford Hospital and discharged again four days later. On April 9 he was readmitted to Stafford Hospital suffering shortness of breath.

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He suffered a fall on April 20 and a second fall on April 26, the inquest heard. Three days after the second fall a CT scan revealed Mr Yates had suffered a pelvic fracture.

He was prescribed bed rest and pain relief, but died five days later.

Mr Yates’ cause of death was given as congestive cardiac failure due to aortic valve dysfunction, with the pelvis fracture following a fall given as a contributing factor.

His son Tim told the inquest: “You could see the deterioration from his heart problem. I don’t think the fall particularly speeded up his death.”

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a narrative verdict that Mr Yates was “a man with heart disease who fell on a hospital ward.”

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