A 32-STONE Devon woman died after her bed collapsed under her weight.

Susan Ann Maben's bed "ejected" her onto a nearby chair, and she died of respiratory failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hip fracture, morbid obesity, chronic kidney disease (stage three), and type two diabetes.

She was described as morbidly obese at an inquest in Devon, which heard how she died on Friday, June 12, after the incident at her home in Charlotte Street, Devonport.

The inquest heard how the 206kg 66-year-old, who would have celebrated her birthday next month, spent a lot of time in the bed and was described as "morbidly obese".

She was changing her position in her standard construction wooden bed when the fatal incident occurred.

Graham Harding, the corner's officer, said: "The bed collapsed and ejected her onto a nearby chair. She was taken to Derriford Hospital and sadly died."

Mr Harding read out her medical cause of death as respiratory failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hip fracture, morbid obesity, chronic kidney disease (stage three), and type two diabetes.

The retired seamstress had a long-term partner, Michael Manning, who was also her carer. They had been together 28 years, the inquest heard.

She passed away on the Honeyford Ward at 2.25pm on June 12, 2015.

Mr Harding contacted the National Bed Federation – the regulatory body for bed makers – after Ms Maben's death to ascertain the weight regulations behind different beds.

He said told the room how at 206kg (32st), Ms Maben was 100lbs (7st) over the recommended weight for that bed.

"Anyone over [this weight] should have a special weight bearing bed," he told the room. "[Ms Maben] was 100lbs above the safe weight for that bed."

Ian Arrow, senior coroner for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon, commented: "The bed was of an inadequate strength for her. She died as a result of the collapse of her bed.

"I hope this will draw attention to the importance of assuring you have a bed which is fit for purpose."

When contacted by The Herald, a spokeswoman for the National Bed Federation said: "There are no rules or regulations, only guidance."


Divan Bed Collapses Killing Woman
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Susan Maben and friend and carer

Michael Manning

Read more: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Morbidly-obese-Devon-woman-dies-bed-collapses/story-26717199-detail/story.html#ixzz3ddvf9wDB

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MY thoughts:

There are some people who advocate placing a knee onto a divan bed as a “safer” option than stooping when assisting someone in this type of bed. This incident highlights the risks associated with that technique.

If the person you were assisting was 20st, I hope the person placing their knee on the bed is not more than 5st (less the weight of the mattress), otherwise you will be going over the safe working load (SWL) of the bed.

We wouldn’t dream of placing two people in a hoist, not only because of the SWL but for the even more obvious reason that it is made for just one person. A single bed is not called a single bed because it is yet to find a soul mate. It is called a single bed because it is designed for one person not two.

Please note the coroners remarks. If we have a divan bed for residents in a nursing home for instance, then this is not fit for purpose if you need to kneel on it. Every effort should be made to acquire the correct equipment prior to accepting the responsibility of caring for someone. Or in the case of deterioration of an existing client, safer solutions should include the safety of the resident as well as the carer.

Copyright © 2015 Gavin Wright. All Rights Reserved

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