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Man died while on Caribbean cruise holiday after fall, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 14:27 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:27 21 September 2020

Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

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A man who died while on an exotic cruise holiday developed an infection after falling over a kerb while on a Caribbean island, an inquest has heard.

Geoffrey Wilson, 75, from Bury St Edmunds, was walking towards a bus on the island of Sint Maarten in January when he fell, bumping his head and grazing his knee.

Following the fall, Mr Wilson received first aid but felt well enough to continue with his day trip.

However, after returning to the boat, his leg began to swell and he developed a fever.

The 75-year-old was taken to the on-board medical centre, where doctors diagnosed him with cellulitis and suspected pneumonia.

They gave him three different types of antibiotics as well as a drip. However, his condition did not improve.

With the boat due to leave for sea again, the decision was made to transfer Mr Wilson to a hospital on the Dutch island territory.

He was transported by ambulance to the Sint Maarten Medical Centre where he received further treatment.

However, he died two days later while in hospital.

Assistant coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said due to a lack of evidence being supplied by the medical centre, it was difficult to know what treatment he received.

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Dr Sharpstone said he found it “impossible to believe” that doctors did not continue with antibiotics.

He added that Mr Wilson’s symptoms replicated those of the most severe cellulitis cases, which can lead to septicaemia.

He said: “We just have to hope the care was adequate or wouldn’t have had an effect on the outcome.”

A post-mortem examination found that the Bury St Edmunds resident died as a result of multiple organ failure, brought on by sepsis, which was caused by cellulitis.

Dr Sharpstone concluded that Mr Wilson died as a result of cellulitis.


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