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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Barrow dad’s inquest hears of town’s ‘problem with designer drugs’

MEDICS who treated a dad who died after he was tasered stopped trying to resuscitate him 35 minutes before national guidelines said they should, an inquest heard.

The inquest into the death of Dale Burns, 27, yesterday heard from staff at Furness General Hospital who tried to save his life after he was brought there by police on August 16, 2011.

At 6.50pm that day the bodybuilder – who told police he had taken a gram of the drug “madcat” – was tasered four times by an officer in his flat in Hartington Street, Barrow.

After arriving at the hospital at around 7.15pm, Mr Burns went into cardiac arrest at about 8.15pm.

The inquest heard although officers told staff he had taken the drug, the medical registrar who was overseeing efforts to revive Mr Burns did not follow national advice on treating people who had taken it.

Mr David Lock, who is representing Mr Burns’ two children Honor, five, and Ethan, three, said the national poisons database Toxbase said resuscitation efforts for people suspected of taking the drug should continue for “at least one hour”.

It was possible for people to make a good recovery from a cardiac arrest after this amount of time, he said.

However, Dr Simranjot Sidhu said after about 25 minutes she and other staff agreed to end efforts to revive Mr Burns.

“I considered it to be appropriate as all the correct treatment was given and the patient was not showing any response or recovery,” she said.

She said she had not seen the guidance from Toxbase, but if she had she would have sought advice from a more senior doctor and continued cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the meantime.

“You don’t know whether, if you had continued CPR in line with the guidance, whether Mr Burns would have made any response or not?” asked Mr Lock.

“No,” replied Dr Sidhu.

The family of Mr Burns were grateful for all the help he had been given in hospital and accepted he had put himself in a dangerous position by taking the drug, Mr Lock said.

However, they were “concerned that CPR was ended prematurely and not in accordance with the guidelines”.

Daphne Penn, who was working as a clinical site manager on the day, said there was a problem in Barrow with people taking so-called “designer drugs” like madcat.

It was not uncommon to have to deal with young people who had taken such drugs, she said.

The inquest continues.

Have your say

The man had a long history of abusing illegal and then so called 'legal highs' and died because of that. The medical facts are that the taser did not kill him the drugs did......it's very sad indeed and I feel for his family and friends but stop look for fault in the authorities....the inquest was transparent and all the facts know, stop spinning the truth

Posted by E on 15 February 2013 at 11:44

A very sad case of a young life lost for no reason. The media would do better to label this muck "Knocked up in a filthy garage in Amsterdam" rather than "Designer Drugs". It conveys the image of coolness and acceptability, when it is so far from that, and it has cost this poor family their loved one.

Posted by Patience of Job on 11 February 2013 at 15:02

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