A LIFE-LONG smoker who used oxygen to help him breath died after burning the inside of his throat while lighting up a “crafty” cigarette an inquest heard.
Douglas Bishop, 69, was being cared for at home in Kimberley Court, Chowns Hill by his wife when the tragic accident took place.
East Sussex Coroners Court heard on Tuesday how the retired bricklayer was having palliative care after being diagnosed with a lung breathing disease in 2011.
Mr Bishop had oxygen through tubes in his nose 24 hours a day.
On October 11 he was in bed when his wife heard him scream.
He had taken a quick puff when the oxygen caught fire and the flames burned the inside of his throat. He was rushed to hospital but died two days later. A post mortem revealed Mr Bishop’s cause of death was acute obstructional pulmonary disease due to burns to the upper respiratory tract.
Obstructive lung disease is a category of respiratory disease characterized by airway obstruction.
East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze concluded Mr Bishop’s death was an accident. He said: “I think it was a preventable accident. Did you know he was having a crafty smoke?”
Mrs Bishop replied: “Yes I did. It was normally in the evening. He had an alarm he always rang it. This time I heard him shout.”
Mr Craze read out Mrs Bishop’s witness statement. He said: “His hair was alight and you got a towel and blanket and tried to douse the flames.”
Mr Craze then added: ”You knew a lot of damage had been caused to his airwaves. This was a huge shock for you.”