AN ELDERLY man died from asphyxiation after he choked on food he was eating, his inquest was told.
John Davis, 87, from Upper Carey’s Road in Limerick city was pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick on October 20, 2018 following his admission to the hospital some time earlier.
Because of the sudden and unexplained nature of his death, an investigation was carried out by gardai on behalf of the coroner.
Consultant Pathologist, Dr Teresa Laszlo told Mr Davis’ inquest a post mortem examination which was carried out on his body showed the pensioner had suffered from a number of underlying medical issues and that he had an enlarged heart and lung problems.
She said a “good amount of food was found in his airway and that the cause of death was “asphyxiation due to food aspiration”.
When asked by Mr Davis’ son, Henry, Dr Laszlo said there was no evidence to suggest the deceased had suffered a heart attack or that any of his underlying issues had led to his death.
“He choked on food he was eating, he aspirated as he was trying to get it out,” she said.
Having considered the medical evidence, Coroner John McNamara said a verdict of accidental death was appropriate in the circumstances.
“It was not a natural death,” he added as he expressed his condolences to Mr Davis.
There was no evidence during the inquest relating to the food which the deceased had been eating or where the choking incident happened.
It was also not stated when Mr Davis was admitted to UHL.