SYDNEY — Lismore hospital death: Daughter claims nurses lied to her about how her mentally ill mother died
The daughter of a woman who died after she was left to wander the halls of a New South Wales hospital while naked and covered in faeces says nurses there lied to her about what happened.
Miriam Merten died in 2014 from a brain injury after she fell over more than 20 times at the Mental Health Unit of Lismore Base Hospital, on the state’s north coast.
A coronial inquest heard she was locked in a seclusion room for hours, and when the two nurses supervising her unlocked the door they allowed her to wander around naked, covered in faeces. She continued to fall over outside the seclusion room.
Coroner Jeff Linden found she died from “traumatic brain injury caused by numerous falls and the self-beating of her head on various surfaces, the latter not done with the intention of taking her life”.
“The sight of the deceased wandering the corridor naked and covered in excrement while the senior nurse is seen to mop the floor, apparently oblivious to her is horrific,” he said.
The state’s chief psychiatrist Murray Wright said he was equally shocked.
“I can’t speak for what was happening in the minds of those nurses but I think it’s an absolutely appalling incident,” he said.
READ MORE of ABC Lucy McNally’s story:
MEAG COMMENT: Another day, another patient, another disaster. The trouble is this is not a one-off.