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Mum blames medical authorities over son's death
A GRIEVING mum claims her son would still be alive if medical experts had heeded her warning.
Susan Harding told an inquest that not enough was done by health services for her son in the weeks prior to his death.
Domonic Harding, 27, of Weymouth, died of multiple organ failure at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in April.
He was airlifted to the hospital for a heart transplant but sadly died the following day after doctors decided nothing more could be done, an inquest heard.
Coroner Sheriff Payne exp-ressed his concern for the delay by local mental health services to assess Domonic prior to this death.
He recorded a verdict of natural causes at County Hall in Dorchester.
Mum Susan Harding criticised the fact that her son had been seen by several doctors and two paramedics before Dr Turber-ville-Smith, of the Bridges Medical Centre, admitted him to Dorset County Hospital.
The inquest was told how Domonic was admitted to the hospital following a ‘very rapid deterioration of health’ just four days before his death.
The postmortem revealed that multiple organ failure had been caused by other significant factors including obesity and diabetes.
Dr Turberville-Smith found Domonic to be ‘very physically unwell’ during a home visit, the inquest heard. He also said his patient had been showing signs of both physical and behavioural problems.
Mrs Harding said her son, who suffered from learning difficulties and lived with her on Maycroft Road, developed a cough six weeks before his death and was given antibiotics.
She said: “We were then told that his problems were psychological and not physical and we waited for the two weeks before his death for a mental health assessment.
“If the assessment had taken place then it would have become clear that his problems were physical and then the problems would have been noticed earlier and he might still be alive.”
She added: “I don’t think enough was done for my son.”
Dr Richard Jee, of the Intensive Care Unit at Dorset County Hospital, said: “When Domonic came into DCH he had severe heart failure which had led to multi-organ failure.”
He added when Domonic was airlifted to Birmingham he had a very ‘slim chance’ of survival.
Domonic was also treated for sepsis and other medical problems including a collapsed left lung.
Mrs Harding also criticised the postmortem report which claimed her son weighed more than 20 stone.
Mrs Harding added: “He weighed around 14 stone and anyone who knew Domonic knew he didn’t weigh that much.”
Coroner Sheriff Payne said: “I will write to the mental health services as I am concerned about the delay in their assessment.
“It may well be that if the mental health assessment had been carried out his physical con-dition might have been alerted.
“But we are dealing with suppositions. I’m concerned that there was a delay in the assessment.”
• JAMES Barton, director of mental health services at Dorset HealthCare, said: “Dorset HealthCare was very sorry to hear of the death of Mr Harding.
“He was referred to our service on 19 March 2013 by his GP and based on the information provided, we were in the process of arranging an assessment of his needs with a qualified mental health practitioner.
He added: “Whilst this was being arranged, Mr Harding was admitted to Dorset County Hospital. We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Harding’s family.”
'Popular and outgoing'
MUM Susan Harding paid tribute to her ‘popular, outgoing’ son.
She said: “He was an outgoing, popular young man – it is so difficult, Domonic was my only child.”
Gill Symes, who runs the Cafe on the Green at Poundbury where Domonic worked as a volunteer, said: “The most important thing is to remember what a positive impact Domonic had on everyone’s lives.
“He was an outgoing, cheeky chap who everyone loved.
“He will be really missed here.”
Mark Cottingham, of Snookes bar where Domonic played pool in the local league, said: “Dom was a very kind young man, friend to many people and a valued member of Snookes where he loved to play his pool and snooker with his friends.
“Dom played pool in the local pool league and will be missed by so many people, but he will never be forgotten.”
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