1849 ~ 1899
INQUEST An inquest was held on Monday, at the Hospital, before Mr. E. Whitfeld, coroner, upon the body of Ronald Young, aged 38 years, who died from injuries received in falling from the balcony of the General Hospital. The following were the jury: Mr. Frank Geo Duff (foreman), Messrs. Daniel O'Farrell, B G. Clark, Henry Baker, A. C. Beaumont, Thomas Clarke, and James Batten. Bridget Young, residing in Batten street, said she identified the body as that of her husband Ronald Young.
On Saturday, the 20th inst, he was suffering from erysipelas, and Dr. Hallowes was sent for, who wrote a note to Dr. Thompson, of the Hospital, who sent word to bring him up to the Hospital; she took him that evening about eight o'olock. Charles Ronald Young, the son of the deceased, said that on Saturday Dr. Hallowes was sent for to see his father, who was then tied up hand and foot ; Dr. Hallowes wrote on a piece of paper and gave it to him to give to Dr. Thompson at the Hospital. Dr. Thompson said to Dr. Pardy, " Put him in the far room, and strap him down;" Dr. 'Thompson asked if he was' very wild; witness said "No;" the doctor said, " If ,he was they could not have him at the Hospital ;" he also asked if it was through drink; witness said he did not know, and told Dr. Thompson that his father had jumped out of window a few minutes ago. Dr. Thompson told him to send his father up; he was at the Hospital at 7-30 p.m.; his father was tied up while he was going for Dr. Hallowes He had been laid up for four days pre-viously; Dr. Thompson did not tell him his father ought to go to the police station ; his father cut his leg when he jumped through the window at home; he was a pointsman on the railway, and a native of Tasmania.
Michael O'Meara said he was a labourer, and on the Saturday in question Mrs. Young sent for him, saying her husband was getting troublesome ; he went at once, and, on getting to the house, found him in bed; he appeared to be raving ; this was about 10 a.m ; he stayed all day with him, but left for a few minutes, and on his return found him in the passage, with Mrs. Young and a man holding him; they got him into the bed-room, and put some clothes on him ; he would not lie down, and wanted to get away : witness then tied his hands and legs, and stayed with him till Dr. Hallowes, came ; the doctor advised his being taken to the Hospital; he was removed about eight o'clock ; when he was asked to sit down at the Hospital, he attempted to stand up on his chair; he did not resent being caught hold of ; witness did not see any mark on him after he jumped through the window at home; he mentioned to the wardsmen that deceased had jumped out of the window ; they said, " All right." Francis Elizabeth Hodkins, a nurse at the Hospital, said she was on duty shortly after ten o'clock in the night the deceased was admitted ; she left him to get a tin for his feet; on returning, another patient met her, and told her Young had cleared ;she at once told the sister on duty and called the porters up; had they been told he required strapping down it would have been done; he was quite sensible when she spoke to him, but inclined to be restless; she did not con- sider from what she saw of him that he required to be strapped down; was told nothing about his having been strapped down previous to admittance to the Hospital; Dr. Pardy had visited him about nine o'clock, and ordered him a sleeping draught, which was administered about five minutes to ten.
Charles Franke, wardsman at the Hospi tal, said, when deceased was admitted he took him up to D ward, and put him to bed, with the assistance of the messenger; he was quiet and conscious; Dr. Pardy pre scribed for him, and they both left him about 9.15; he next saw him on the ground near the front door; nothing was said when he was admitted, about his being delirious or being strapped down, and witness received no orders from the doctors to strap him down; Michael O'Meara came up into the ward while they were undressing him, but said nothing about his being delirious at his own home, or about his jumping out of the window; when he found deceased at the front door he was bleeding from the top of the head, and was unconscious; he helped to get him upstairs, when he was strapped down in bed; had he known he was delirious, he would have strapped him down. Dr, J. Pardy House Surgeon, said when the deceased was admitted he was suffering from alcoholic delirium and erysipelas of the head and face I he spoke rationally concerning his habits and illness; witness gave him a sedative draught; treated his face and left him; at 10"15 p.m. witness was called over to the Hospital and found deceased suffering from concussion of the brain and abrasions on the back of the hand and left knee ; he roused up on being shouted to, but continued in a state of delirium on and off till the time of his death, at 4 a.m. on the 29th; he would answer questions rationally, and do as he was told when roused; the cause of death was fracture of the skull and erysipelas on making a post-mortem examination witness found a linear fracture of the skull extending in a middle line from the centre of the top of the skull to the base, with extensive bruising of the scalp; the membranes of the brain were thickened, and the brain itself congested and dropsical, and the vessels at the base were diseased; before the deceased was admitted a boy came to the Hospital with an order, which he gave to Dr. Thompson; he heard the lad say the patient was delirious, and was suffering from erysipelas; heard Dr. Thompson say, "We would not admit him," but afterwards say, " We would " said to Dr. Thompson.
" We can put him into the D ward ;" never heard about his jumping out of window, or having to be strapped down; the deceased told him he had been a heavy drinker from what he saw of the man in bed he did not think it necessary' to strap him down. Dr. L. G. Thompson, Surgeon-Superintendent of the Hospital, said he was going off duty on the Saturday evening when he met a small boy, who gave him a note from Dr. Hallowes, asking him to admit Ronald Young; he thought, before he opened the letter, the boy told him that Young was insane and wild; he said they would not admit him, and then opened the letter, and Dr. Pardy came out and asked the boy what had made him insane; the boy said, "Erysipelas." and witness turned to Dr. Pardy and said he had better put him in the cells; Dr. Pardy said, "As there were very few in D. ward, he could go in there ;" witness agreed to this as there was no place provided for the safe and comfort able custody of the insane ; the cells were not ventilated and there is no means of heating them. The jury returned a verdict- " That the said Ronald Young on July 20 died from injuries received in falling from the balcony of the General Hospital, accelerated by erysipelas, and that no blame is attached to any one, and added the following rider, - that the Government be urged to make some proper provision for the comfortable and safe accommodation of insane patients at the Hospital, an at present it is utterly impossible for such cases to be properly treated."
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