Inquest opens into death of Stowmarket man refused hospital admission

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Posted 11/06/2015

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An inquest opens on Monday 15 June into the death of a Stowmarket man who was refused hospital admission by ambulance staff because apparently they thought he was drunk. Dean Martin, aged 33, had a history of attempted suicide, alcoholism and mental health problems.

On 12 May last year his two brothers, Jason and Lee, called on him at his home because they were concerned at not having heard from him. They found him ill in bed, with breathing problems and almost incapable of speech. Because of his history they were concerned he had taken an overdose and called an ambulance. But the paramedics decided the symptoms were the result of drinking alcohol and so they couldn’t take him to hospital. They advised his brothers to call an ambulance if his condition deteriorated further.

The next day there was no improvement and Dean complained of further symptoms. After a call to 111 an ambulance arrived and he was taken to Ipswich Hospital.

There he had a cardiac arrest. He was transferred to intensive care but was not responsive. He continued to deteriorate overnight and, following a discussion with the consultant, his family decided to withdraw treatment. He died that day, 14 May 2014. The coroner later confirmed the cause of death as pneumonia.

The Martin family’s lawyer is medical negligence specialist Sharon Allison of Ashtons Legal. She says: “There are clearly questions to be asked as to the circumstances that led up to his death, but it would be wrong to speculate before the inquest has heard all the facts. ‘Though the inquest will be a trial for them, Dean’s family look forward to hearing an explanation of how the tragedy could have happened.’

The inquest takes place at Ipswich Coroner’s Court over two days, 15 and 16 June.


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