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Granny bathed in bleach

A series of assumptions and miscommunications led nurses to douse an elderly woman in a bleach solution some 650 times too strong, a coroner has found, 9 News reports.

Epenesa Pahiva should have been treated with a solution of half a cup of bleach to half a bath of water – but instead the solution was made one-to-one.

The 87-year-old former schoolteacher and great-grandmother was bathed with towels soaked in the searing solution for five straight days at not-for-profit home Castellorizian Aged Care Services in July 2014.

Epenesa Pahiva should have been treated with a solution of half a cup of bleach to half a bath of water – but instead the solution was made one-to-one.

A nurse then noticed she was “distressed, in pain and with large red areas across her body” and called triple-zero.

Ms Pahiva spent six weeks in a burns unit until September 2014, the month she died.

NSW Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan on Friday found the dermatologist who saw Ms Pahiva’s bacterial skin infection on July 11, 2014 had advised it be treated with a heavily diluted bleach solution, usually reserved for a bath.

But Dr Lance Bear failed to tell the wheelchair-bound woman’s general practitioner or the home’s nurses he didn’t want the treatments to start until he’d worked out how exactly to treat her in a shower.

Ms Pahiva’s family said they were distressed to hear evidence at the inquest, including that their mother had been left wrapped in bleach-soaked towels “shivering with an elevated temperature”.

They believe their mother’s death was hastened by the burns.

FULL STORY

Sydney great-grandmother bathed in bleach before death (9 News)

Coroner recommends nursing home that burnt 87yo in bleach bath review training (ABC News)