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A MAN died after taking scaldingly hot baths to relieve chronic back pain, an inquest heard.

Andrew Tomlinson, 44, from Whittingam Road, Southend, had been diagnosed with crippling back pain in the weeks before his death last month.

After high-strength anti-inflamatory drugs failed to stem the pain in his lower back enough, he took to sitting in extremely hot water, Chelmsford Coroners Court was told.

The baths were so hot, he developed scolding across his buttocks and flank.

He was admitted to Southend Hospital for treatment for the burns, but they turned septic and his condition deteriorated, before he died on May 22 this year.

Pathologist Dr David Rouse carried out a post mortem, which gave the case of death as sepsis caused by burns.

Coroner Eleanor McGann said relatives confirmed to her he had taken a number of these baths over a short period to ease his pain.

Hot baths or heat pads on the back are a recognised form of relief from chronic back pain, but it is never recommended to have them at temperatures that could cause scalding.

Mrs McGann said: “This gentleman was having baths for chronic pain and thought the hot baths would help.

“We know from the family it was something he had been doing.

“It is very sad he was having baths so hot they have led to burns and led to sepsis.

“He did not mean to harm himself in this way and my conclusion is that this was an accidental death.”