Man never regained consciousness after choking on chicken

Family already grieving after death of his brother and niece two weeks earlier

Dublin Coroner’s Court. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dublin Coroner’s Court. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


The family of a man who died after choking on some chicken were already grieving following the death of his brother and niece two weeks earlier, an inquest heard.

David Reinhardt (55), Wellmount Avenue, Finglas, Dublin, died at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown on June 30th, 2012, one week after he went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain damage during the choking incident.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that he was staying at the home of his sister Margaret Joyce following the death of his older brother.

On June 23rd, Mr Reinhardt was eating a chicken dinner in his room at his sister’s house when family members heard a loud noise. He was found lying on the ground and had gone purple in the face. His brother-in-law gave him CPR and removed chicken from his mouth.

When paramedics arrived they found more chicken at the back of Mr Reinhardt’s throat and further chicken was removed by medics when he was brought to hospital.

He was successfully resuscitated but remained unconscious until his death on June 30th from a blood clot which had travelled from his legs to his lungs.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the postmortem uncovered a significant degree of heart disease. It was possible that Mr Reinhardt had a heart attack which led to his choking, he said, but he could also have started choking first. However, he said he suffered significant brain damage when deprived of oxygen during the incident from which he would not have recovered.

He returned a narrative verdict outlining the facts.