Hotel guest dies after choking on Christmas eve

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A coroner ruled that an 85-year-old man who choked on a piece of meat at the Cairn Hotel on Christmas Eve died as a result of an accident.

Leslie Dunning from Doncaster was staying at the Cairn Hotel on Christmas Eve last year.

The post-mortem found the cause of death to be asphyxia caused by choking on ingested meat which had not been visible during resuscitation efforts.

The court heard that Mr Dunning was found to be choking on food during lunch at the hotel, however he seemed to recover from this.

Around 10 minutes later restaurant manager Matthew Lambert was alerted of a further problem my Hotel staff.

First aid trained Mr Lambert said: “I ran straight over and moved him onto the floor. To me it looked like a heart attack.

“I checked his airways and removed his dentures from the back of his mouth.”

He described Mr Dunning’s body as “heavy” and “lifeless” when he lifted him from his chair.

Mr Lambert told the coroner that he told staff to call an ambulance and carried out CPR with the help of another first aid trained colleague as instructed by the 999 call operator.

Resuscitation efforts by hotel staff, ambulance crews and A&E staff at Harrogate Hospital were unsuccessful and Mr Dunning was pronounced dead at 14:54 at Harrogate District Hospital.

The court heard that arrangements were made for Mr Dunning’s family to visit the hospital mortuary on Christmas Day.

Martin Wilks, general manager of The Cairn Hotel said: “It is very regretful that this has happened and our thoughts are with his family.

It is particularly unfortunate it happened on Christmas eve.

“I am very proud of what Matthew did and how his team dealt with the situation.”