A CORONER heard how injuries to a retired doctor's foot which became trapped in a reclining electric chair, were a contributing factor to his death.

Dr Joseph Francis De Pellegrino-Farrugia, who was suffering from dementia, became stuck in the chair at his home in Top Lodge, Broughton, and needed to be freed by a fire officer using cutting gear.

Rob Turnbull was told how Dr Pellegrino, who died on December 20 last year at his home, was found with his left foot trapped beneath the foot rest and the frame of the chair as two carers attempted to transfer him to bed.

He was taken to Airedale General Hospital at Steeton on November 14, last year, where he had surgery to the toes of his left foot and later returned home.

In recording that the 92 year-old, who had been a GP in Bingley, died as a result of an accident Mr Turnbull said he was concerned about the mechanism in the chair and would investigate issuing a regulation to manufacturers about the potential hazard.

Consultant pathologist Dr Carl Gray said Dr Pellegrino had died of pneumonia complicated by dementia and ulceration of a toe which became gangrenous due to a crushing injury. "The injury to the toe did not itself cause death but it tipped the balance," he said.

Family members at the hearing in Skipton said they hoped lessons would be learned from Dr Pellegrino's death and that the Care Quality Commission be alerted to the accident.

His son Guy said: "To me it seems there needs to be some kind of quick release mechanism to release the pressure. Something like the device in a car window that stops it closing as soon as pressure is applied.

"This is a health and safety issue. We're anxious nobody else goes through this - lessons musty be learned."

Carer, Emma Wordsworth Perrin of Craven Home Care, said she was with a colleague preparing the doctor for bed and transferring him from the chair to a commode.

"I bent down to take the brake off the commode and saw he had his foot trapped in a gap under the footplate of the chair. His foot seemed to be wedged under."

She could not see how to release the doctor's foot and decided they needed to call for help.

Mr Turnbull said how Dr Pellegrino got his foot trapped was "unclear" but it was accidental.