Inquest: Pensioner Died After Insulin Overdose

A 92-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died after a doctor gave him a drugs overdose, an inquest has heard. Walter Kenneth Johnston was injected with 100 times the correct dose of insulin by a junior doctor at Belfast City Hospital who claimed he did not know how to treat him.

Dr Nuzaimin Ahmad used the wrong syringe to administer the drug in the early hours of February 25, 2005. A letter read out at Belfast Coroner`s Court said: “I believed that one unit of insulin was equivalent to one millilitre. “I have not received any previous instruction in the handling of insulin,” he said.

The medic had only been at the hospital for three weeks and admitted that he was “unfamiliar with the heart monitor machine.” The deceased, from Rathmore Manor, Knockview Road, north of Belfast, had undergone surgery for an aneurysm (blood clot) in the knee and was recovering poorly.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Alistair Bentley said: “Although he was elderly and had a number of life threatening conditions I don`t believe he would have died at that time had he not received an insulin overdose.”