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Doctor, 50, died from sepsis after a lack of medical insurance on US holiday

Drug user doctor, 50, died from sepsis after a lack of medical insurance meant he was unable to receive emergency treatment while on holiday with his boyfriend in America

  • Simon Bell, 50, on a trip to the US with his partner Andrew Slatter when he fell ill
  • Ex-consultant started getting pain in arms and legs but had no health insurance
  • Mr Bell was HIV positive and had been a known user of intravenous drugs 
  • Couple forced to fly back to UK and after 2 days at home he was rushed to A&E 
  • Coroner said Mr Bell died of a drug-related death having been struck by sepsis

Bournemouth doctor Simon Bell died of sepsis after falling ill in the US without health insurance, forcing him to wait until he got back to the UK for treatment

A doctor and known drug user died from sepsis after a lack of medical insurance meant he was unable to receive emergency treatment when he fell ill on holiday in America, an inquest has heard.

Simon Bell, 50, had been on a trip to the US with his partner Andrew Slatter when he began complaining of arm and leg pain.

The couple sought medical advice but having not taken out healthcare insurance they were forced to fly back to Britain.

His medical condition that began in the US stemmed from a drug-related infection, an inquest into his death heard.  

Mr Bell was HIV positive and had been a known user of intravenous drugs, it was said.

The former hospital consultant then spent two days in bed at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, before his condition worsened.

Mr Slatter called for an ambulance and Dr Bell was admitted to Poole Hospital’s emergency treatment unit where he was diagnosed with sepsis.

Mr Bell, who used to work at Poole Hospital, was transferred to intensive care but doctors were unable to prevent his organs from failing.

He died on October 5 last year, one day after being admitted to hospital and three days after flying back from America.

Mr Bell’s family questioned Dr James Keegan, an intensive care consultant at Poole Hospital, as to whether the delay in receiving treatment led to his death.

The former hospital consultant spent two days in bed at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, before his condition worsened and he was rushed to Poole Hospital where he could not be saved 

The former hospital consultant spent two days in bed at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, before his condition worsened and he was rushed to Poole Hospital where he could not be saved 

Dr Keegan said he was unable to confirm this, but added: ‘With sepsis, the earlier we are able to treat with intravenous antibiotics the better.’ 

A post-mortem examination recorded his cause of death as multi-organ failure.

Mr Bell started working as a consultant in emergency medicine at Poole Hospital from 2003.

He held several management posts including chair of the audit committee before he suffered a fall from grace.

In 2014 he went off long-term sick and a year later he was convicted of drink-driving.

Recording a verdict that Mr Bell died of a drug-related death, Deborah Rookes, the assistant coroner for Dorset, said: ‘The deceased, who was a known intravenous drug user, was admitted to Poole Hospital.

‘He was treated with antibiotics and received maximum multi-organ support from the intensive care team at Poole Hospital.

‘Despite this, he deteriorated and died at 9.34am on October 5. On the basis if the evidence I have heard, I am satisfied that on the balance of probabilities, that the appropriate conclusion is drug-related death’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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