The inquest touching on the death of Mr Krispos Layas commences on the 28 November 2023 at Hull Coroners Court before HM Senior Coroner Professor Paul Marks.
Mr Layas, born in Limassol, Cyprus, was a retired merchant Navy captain. His children remember their father spending months at sea and warmly recount loving his return when he would bring home bags of souvenirs from around the globe. Mr Layas would tell them great stories about his travels which they now treasure.
Mr Layas was 87 years of age at the time of his death on the 11 March 2021 at The Holy Name Care Home in Hull. In January 2021, he had been admitted to the Hull Royal Infirmary as a result of a fall. Whilst in hospital, he contracted COVID-19 and pneumonia. He was discharged from hospital on 20th February 2021 to the care home for respite care. However, on 25th February he re-attended the Hull Royal Infirmary with shortness of breath and returned to the care home on 9th March 2021. Mr Layas had problems with swallowing, and he had been working with speech and language therapists and was said to have been on a ‘minced and moist diet’.
Mr Layas was diagnosed with severe dysphagia, pneumonia, and aspiration pneumonia. These presented known and significant risks. On the 11 March 2021 care staff noticed that Mr Layas was coughing and struggling to breathe and subsequently vomited whilst laid in his bed. Mr Layas was later pronounced deceased.
The family hope that the inquest will provide them some answers in terms of the actions of the nursing staff when Mr Layas was choking on his own vomit in bed, whether he was placed in the recovery position, whether his airway was cleared and why staff didn’t stay with him in what transpired to be the last moments of his life. The paramedic crew made a safeguarding referral expressing concerns that the patient had been on his own on arrival at scene and was not in the recovery position. The police were also called as per policy.
There are also concerns that attending paramedics, who had a dispute with the care staff, purposely amended the electronic patient record (ePR) after the event to suggest that Mr Layas had no palpable pulse as opposed to detecting a carotid pulse on examination. The were other inconsistencies.
The inquest is listed for 4 days.
The family are represented by our Director and Head of Inquests, Gareth Naylor and Oliver Bailey, Counsel of Parklane Plowden Chambers.