The Grapevine

Autistic Boy Dies After Doctors Mistook Sepsis For Diabetes

The parents of an autistic five-year-old boy mourned his death after doctors misdiagnosed him with diabetes. The doctors administered ten times the normal dosage of insulin which led to the child’s death. The boy was apparently found to be suffering from sepsis.

Parents Laura and Martyn claimed that doctors misdiagnosed their son’s health condition as diabetes instead of sepsis. Their son, Shay Turner, was rushed to Rotherham General Hospital last year but eventually died from a catastrophic brain injury, as first reported by Mail Online. The doctors treated the boy with ten times the correct dosage of insulin and claimed that Shay was suffering from diabetes.

Shay had been feeling sick on Good Friday. His parents thought he had caught a bug. However, Shay looked gray shortly after, so they rushed him to the A&E emergency room. He was then resuscitated. Doctors found that his blood sugar levels were high and claimed that he was suffering from diabetes. During such time, the child was in pain and felt immense discomfort.

A pediatrician reportedly approached the mother and explained that the doctors had administered an incorrect dosage for diabetes. When asked about what that meant for Shay, the doctor admitted that he did not know. But then Shay’s condition started to deteriorate rapidly until he became unconscious. Doctors tried to stabilize the child so he could be transferred to Rotherham Hospital. It was only then that doctors found he was actually suffering from sepsis.

Shay’s stomach was incredibly swollen that he had to undergo surgery. During which, the surgeon claimed that he was suffering from sepsis. His large intestine had died and had to be removed. The child’s condition improved dramatically although he was still unconscious during the operation. The doctors then performed a CT scan on the child to check if he sustained any brain damage. It was at the time when doctors confirmed he did have a catastrophic brain injury and was only living through life support. When the condition was explained to the parents, they were advised to cut life support since the child’s condition could no longer improve.

Shay’s autopsy showed that he died from multiple organ failure which could possibly have been caused by Hirschsprung disease. This condition is a result of missing nerve cells in the muscles of the colon which leads to bowel infection and eventually sepsis. This means the first doctors who examined Shay misdiagnosed him with diabetes instead of sepsis. In fact, the child did not have diabetes.

The parents sued the hospital. An inquest is currently under way while the parents run a foundation called Justice for Shay where people can donate money to fund the lawsuit the parents filed against the hospital.

shutterstock_autistic Gene networks responsible for autism are also linked to ADHD and schizophrenia. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock