Mildenhall diabetic died after using ‘unorthodox’ way to work out insulin dose

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An insulin overdose may have killed woman who managed her diabetes ‘idiosyncratically’, an inquest has heard.

Karen Woodbridge, 52, was found in a coma in bed at her home in St John’s Close, Mildenhall, on June 13 last year.

She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, but after a scan confirmed that she could not survive the damage caused to her brain, her life support was switched off on June 18.

Today at an inquest Bury St Edmunds was told that police had ruled out the involvement of anyone else in her death.

Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said reports indicated that Ms Woodbridge’s diabetes, of which she appeared to have a good understanding but had managed in an ‘idiosyncratic way’ according to her GP, had been getting worse.

The inquest heard that her calculation of the insulin dose she needed had been made in an ‘unauthodox manner’ for many years.

Consultant neurologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Dr Maxine Damon, said in a statement that Ms Woodbridge was suffering from a number of medical problems at the time of her death, including a chronic abdominal infection which may have affected her condition.

When she was admitted to hospital her blood sugar level was very low and did respond to treatment, said Dr Damon.

A post mortem examination showed that death had been due to swelling of the brain, diabetic coma and a possible excess of insulin, although the effect of her other conditions may have affected the results of tests carried out.

The Coroner recorded a narrative conclusion that Ms Woodbridge died following an admission to hospital in a hypoglycaemic coma the causes of which could not be established, against a background of diabetes which had been difficult to manage.