with schizophrenia need not have died during restraint by police,
man diagnosed with schizophrenia need never have died when being
restrained by police if certain actions had been taken, a jury decided.
Andrew Jordan, 28, died when his heart and breathing stopped because
he had been kept restrained on his stomach, which prevented him
from getting enough oxygen into his body.
This was the unanimous finding of a jury at an inquest this week
into his death. The inquest, held in Erith, Kent, was reported in
detail by thisislondon.co.uk
Police restrained Mr Jordan at his home in Erith, on October 7,
2003, during attempts by them and a mental health team from Oxleas
Primary Care Trust to get Mr Jordan to the Woodville Unit at Queen
Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, for a mental health assessment, reported
After handcuffing him because he had bitten one police officer,
the officers kept him forcibly restrained, kneeling on the floor
with his chest on the sofa, for about 10 minutes.
The jury of 11 decided: "Had Mr Jordan been brought into an
upright kneeling position at this time, it is probable he would
still be alive."
When police tried to stand him up, Mr Jordan had gone limp.
He was carried out of the house and put, stomach down, on a canvas
stretcher and carried to an ambulance where he was put on a trolley
bed, again stomach down, with his hands cuffed behind his back.
The jury decided police had warned the ambulance crew about the
dangers of positional asphyxiation, which occurs when a heavy person
with a "beer belly" is kept stomach down for a period
of time, and which can restrict their breathing.
It decided Mr Jordan had died during the ambulance's second stop
on the flyover over the A2 in Bourne Road, Bexley, at 1.43pm.
Thisislondon.co.uk also reported that the jury decided contributory
factors in Mr Jordan's death were also the lack of communication
about his mental condition between the services involved. Attendant
medical staff had not been trained about the dangers of positional
asphyxiation and "Mr Jordan died in part because asphyxia caused
by prolonged restraint was not subsequently treated".
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