A CORONER has warned travellers to be aware of poor health facilities abroad, following the tragic death of a young Holmfirth woman.
Coroner Roger Whittaker gave his warning yesterday at a Huddersfield inquest into the death of 20-year-old Katie Martin.
Katie, of Cinderhills Road in Holmfirth, died in Bali in Indonesia on August 31 last year, after poor medical treatment for a severe asthma attack.
Mr Whittaker said people travelling abroad should find out who to contact in an emergency and what level of care they can expect.
He said: "Although great criticisms are made of what we have here, one can only count one's blessings in the UK.
"This case must be a wake-up call to those that go abroad if they have any illness that could be a problem."
Katie, a catering manager, had gone on holiday to Bali on August 21 with her parents, Kathryn and Patrick, and her two brothers.
During the holiday, she had suffered from sickness and diarrhoea and on August 30, she stayed in her room while her family went on a trip.
But later that night, she knocked on her parents' door, asking them to call a doctor.
The hotel's brochure said to contact the reception in an emergency and Mrs Martin did so.
The receptionist contacted the hotel doctor. In Bali, hotels choose their own doctors and there are no Government rules covering them.
Mrs Martin told the doctor over the phone that Katie was asthmatic and he said he would be there in 15 minutes.
However, Katie spent 45 minutes with agonising stomach pain before he arrived.
A statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said neither the hotel receptionist nor the doctor had appreciated that it was an emergency, or they would have called an ambulance.
By the time the doctor arrived, Katie had begun having an asthma attack and was not responding to the inhalers she had brought on holiday.
Her mother, a qualified nurse, told the doctor Katie needed a nebulizer and oxygen - but he did not give her any and did not communicate with the family.
They carried Katie downstairs, only to discover that he had come in his car and not an ambulance.
It had an oxygen tank but it was left to Katie's mother to give her some oxygen from the tank through a nasal tube.
During the 20km drive to the nearest hospital, Katie stopped breathing.
The doctor stopped the car and watched as her mother gave CPR.
They continued to hospital, where they had to wait to be buzzed in.
When they got inside, nurses - who had been sleeping on the floor - got up and tried to get a defibrillator working to revive Katie.
Mrs Martin asked for oxygen - but only got a nasal tube, which was not enough.
She begged staff to give Katie adrenaline, but this did not happen.
Mrs Martin said: "They seemed incapable of reacting appropriately to the situation.
"They had been thrust into a situation for which they were unprepared."
She said the doctor who initially treated Katie stood at the back of the room throughout, preparing their hospital bill.
Katie was pronounced dead during the early hours of August 31, 2005.
The task of taking her to the mortuary was left to her father.
The family were not allowed to leave hospital before Mr Martin had gone to the hotel to get his credit card and pay the medical bill.
No post-mortem took place in Bali, but one was conducted in Huddersfield after Katie's body was flown back to the UK.
It confirmed she had died of a severe asthma attack.
The coroner recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.
He said in some cases he can say that neglect contributed to natural death - but that there was not enough evidence in this case for him to do so.
Katie's family are now taking legal action. Mrs Martin said: "We don't want it to happen to anybody else."