Carer found woman in coma

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A Mildenhall woman suffering from diabetes, who according to her doctor had been estimating how much insulin she needed for years, died after she fell into a hypoglycemic coma.

An inquest in Bury St Edmunds was told that Karen Woodbridge, who was 52, and lived in St John’s Close, was found unconscious in bed at her home by her carer on June 13. Five days later she died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The inquest heard that when she was admitted to hospital she was treated for a potential insulin overdose but she never regained consciousness and her life support system was switched off.

Police were called in to investigate the circumstances of Ms Woodbridge’s death but concluded that there was no evidence of anything suspicious.

Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean told the hearing on Thursday that Ms Woodbridge had a history of diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy and chronic abdominal infections caused by recurrent hernias.

In a statement to the hearing, her GP, who had visited her three days before she fell into a coma, said: “For many years she had been using her insulin in an idiosyncratic way, estimating what her blood sugars were,” he said.

Recording a narrative verdict Dr Dean said: “It may well be that her diabetes became more difficult to control because of the infections and more insulin had been given inadvertently.”