Ice skaters should wear protective helmets - coroner

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A coroner has recommended that ice skaters wear protective helmets following the death of a Timaru woman who fell and hit her head at an outdoor rink.

Irene Elizabeth Peckitt, a 40-year-old farmer, wife and mother, fell heavily while skating at the Alpine Springs rink at Lake Tekapo, while volunteering as a parent helper on a school trip, on September 1, 2010.

In his findings released today, Christchurch coroner Richard McElrea said Mrs Peckitt was dazed and clearly affected by the fall, and later that day complained of a headache and feeling sick.

She was admitted to Timaru Hospital the next day, where she was found to have bruising to her brain and a skull fracture.

She was put under regular observation and her condition improved, however she was found dead on September 4. Attempts to revive her failed.

The pathologist determined the most likely cause of Mrs Peckitt's sudden deterioration was a major seizure precipitated by her head injuries.

Coroner McElrea found Mrs Peckitt had received appropriate medical treatment.

Alpine Springs offered protective helmets free of charge and Coroner McElrea found Mrs Peckitt may well have avoided serious injury had she worn one.

He commended Alpine Springs' initiative and urged other operators to do the same.

"The case highlights the importance of wearing protective helmets in an ice skating situation, not only for beginners or inexperienced skaters, but for all skaters," he said.

- APNZ

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