St Albans diabetes man died after hypoglycemic attack

PUBLISHED: 17:22 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

A DIABETIC man from St Albans died alone at home after failing to control his disease, an inquest heard today. 49-year-old Gerard Kempson of Vesta Avenue, who was diagnosed with type two diabetes in 1996, was found slumped on his bedroom floor on the afte

A DIABETIC man from St Albans died alone at home after failing to control his disease, an inquest heard today.

49-year-old Gerard Kempson of Vesta Avenue, who was diagnosed with type two diabetes in 1996, was found slumped on his bedroom floor on the afternoon of January 13 after having suffered a hypoglycemic attack.

Paramedics who attended to Mr Kempson determined that his pupils were widely dilated, indicating brain damage, and he was transported to Hemel Hempstead hospital where he died of his injuries two days later on January 15.

Pathologist Dr Paul Richman, who was present at the inquest, said that the autopsy revealed no abnormalities and that the analysis of Mr Kempson's brain found the damage to be consistent with hypoglycemic brain damage.

But despite coroner Edward Thomas's insistence that Mr Kempson was in "good spirits" during the days before his death, Dr Richman raised the question of whether Mr Kempson's death was in fact suicide.

He said: "I'm aware that Mr Kempson attempted suicide a while ago and the thing that concerns me is that we don't know how much insulin he took and whether he ate or not. An insulin overdose or failing to eat after an insulin injection would have led to a hypoglycemic attack."

But, stressing the fact that Mr Kempson's suicide attempt was over four years ago, Mr Thomas concluded that Mr Kempson died of natural causes as a result of severe hypoglycemic brain damage.

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