Shay Turner, an autistic five-year-old boy has died after doctors gave him ten times the correct dose of insulin after misdiagnosing him with diabetes.
According to his parents, he was rushed to Rotherham General Hospital last but died a few days later when he suffered a catastrophic brain injury. His parents, Laura, 28, and Martyn, 29, claim that doctors misdiagnosed his sepsis as diabetes so gave him a huge amount of insulin by mistake.
The couple have now launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £12,000 to pay for solicitors to represent them at Shay’s inquest in October. Ms Turner, an advertising executive, said:
‘There are two major failings that we need answers to – the overdose of insulin and what effect that had on him and the missed sepsis. So far nobody has told us the truth and we want to know what happened to our son. On Good Friday Shay was unwell – he looked tired, he kept saying he couldn’t go to the toilet, he wanted to drink but couldn’t keep any water down and kept being sick.
I thought he had caught a bug but by the time his dad came home from work Shay looked grey and we decided to go to A&E.’
The Turners took Shay to Rotherham General Hospital, South Yorkshire, along with his nine-year-old brother Finnley. Shay was rushed into A&E’s resuscitation bay where doctors recorded that his blood sugar levels were high and diagnosed him as diabetic even though Mr and Mrs Turner were unconvinced.
Ms Turner said: ‘At this point we were really concerned no-one knew what they were doing. It was obvious Shay was very unwell but it felt like sheer panic at the hospital. ‘We were really worried – no-one was telling us what was happening and Shay was in a lot of pain and discomfort.
Shay, who had been diagnosed with autism just before his fifth birthday was given insulin but, for two hours, Laura says he was given ten times the standard dose.
The family have since learned insulin is measured per kilogram and should be dispensed between 0.1ml and 0.5ml per kg. At 18kg, the maximum amount Shay should have been given was 1.8ml Instead he was given 18ml.
A spokesperson for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Rotherham General Hospital, said: ‘our thoughts and sympathies are very much with Shay’s family and our medical director has recently written to them about the serious incident investigation which we are currently undertaking. Given an inquest is scheduled for the autumn, we cannot comment further at this time.’