Grandmother killed by a hearing aid


A great-grandmother who survived breast cancer died after suffering a rare allergic reaction after a hearing aid fitting.

Doctors at Bradford Royal Infirmary could not save Mary Elizabeth Hibbitt, 83, after she contracted an infection through cracks in her skin, an inquest in Bradford heard yesterday.

Mrs Hibbitt, of Tyersal Garth, Tyersal, Bradford, who had beaten breast cancer 14 years previously, died on March 1 from pneumonia caused by the initial skin complaint.

Coroner James Turnbull described as “amazing and extremely unlucky” the chances of her reacting so badly to the material.

Mrs Hibbitt’s ordeal started when she visited an audiologist at BRI in January. Less than two days after having the hearing aid fitting, Mrs Hibbitt was suffering irritation to her ear and a painful rash, which spread down her neck and back.

Her daughter Valerie Wilson, 52, of New Street, Oakenshaw, Bradford, said: “Her face was just totally red raw and it had spread all down her neck and back.

“She hadn’t been out of her house for three weeks. It must have been the reaction.”

The doctor gave her anti-histamine medication to stop the allergy, but her face continued to swell and her skin kept itching and peeling.

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