Tyne & Wear

New York death man Shaun Dobinson 'put at risk by GP'

Shaun Dobinson Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Shaun Dobinson had not been told which of the two strains of diabetes he had

A diabetic man who died on holiday in New York was put at "obvious risk" by his doctor, an inquest heard.

Shaun Dobinson, 21, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, had only recently been diagnosed and suffered fatal cardiac arrests during his June 2016 trip.

An inquest was told his GP "behaved recklessly", while his treatment in the United States was also criticised.

Coroner Derek Winter ruled he died from natural causes contributed to by neglect.

Mr Dobinson had been told he was diabetic in the weeks before his trip, but the inquest heard a urine test had not been carried out to assess which of the two strains he had.

On 13 May he was prescribed a medication usually given to patients with the less urgent type 2 and referred to a diabetic clinic.

'Below' standard care

He travelled to New York on 26 May, but collapsed in his hotel on 2 June and died in hospital a day later.

Prof Ian Wall, an expert witness from the Royal College of General Practitioners, said care given to Mr Dobinson by his GP, Dr Nandu Bhatt, fell "seriously below the standards one might expect".

He told Sunderland Coroner's Court that Dr Bhatt should have given Mr Dobinson a urine test, which he described as being "very simple".

He went on to call Mr Dobinson's treatment in New York "absolutely appalling".

The inquest heard he took oral replacement fluids when instead his condition was so serious he should have been admitted to hospital and given intravenous fluids.

'Serious risk'

Prof Wall said Mr Dobinson would not have died if he had received more suitable treatment either in Britain or the United States.

The inquest earlier heard from a pathologist who said cardiac arrests were associated with type 1 diabetes.

In her evidence, Mr Dobinson's sister, Kirsty, said he had not been warned how serious his condition could be and was not advised against travel by Dr Bhatt.

The GP told the inquest he had not been aware of Mr Dobinson's holiday.

However, coroner Mr Winter concluded he did not accept Dr Bhatt's recollections and said the GP "did not take due notice of its importance".

His actions put Mr Dobinson at "serious and obvious risk of death", he added.

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