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Woman dies after swallowing a pen

A woman who died after swallowing a pen hadn’t intended to cause herself harm, an inquest into her death has heard.

Anita Gibbs was rushed to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in July last year after falling at her care home.

She spent the last months of her life as an inpatient but died when the pen pierced her bowel and she couldn’t be saved, despite the effort of medics.

The 48-year-old, who had a history of mental health issues that often saw her self-harm, previously swallowed items.

She had one removed in the years before, but Norfolk Coroner’s Court was told it was deemed safer to leave parts of another in place.

The inquest had been adjourned in February at the woman’s mother’s request.

Susan Gibbs questioned whether a fall at the hospital could have also contributed to her death.

She suggested the accident may have dislodging the pen that had been in her stomach.

Following the fall, Miss Gibbs’ condition deteriorated and she died last year.

Senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake said before her death, she had told nurses she had swallowed another pen.

Recording a verdict of misadventure, she added: “I’ve heard evidence that it was not unusual for her to self-harm in a number of ways.

“But I take on board evidence from her mother that she did not intend to hurt herself and certainly not take her own life.”

She had lived at Kemps Place, a care home for people with mental health issues, in Rackham Road, Norwich.

The inquest in February heard how she was in the process of being moved to an alternative placement in Birmingham, after it became clear the home could not manage her needs.

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