Tragedy of Gravesend man Barinder Lal who died after passing out in sauna at Cascades Leisure Centre
Old Town Hall in Gravesend High Street
A diabetic man was found dead with burns after passing out in a sauna, an inquest heard.
Barinder Lal, 49, was discovered in the sauna at Cascades Leisure Centre, in Gravesend, on June 1 last year.
He was found with burns on his arms, face and chest at 4.15pm - about 45 minutes after staff last checked the sauna.
The transport manager, of Abbey Road, Gravesend, was given first aid by staff at the centre, on Thong Lane, but he did not respond.
Pathologist Peter Jerreat told the inquest at Gravesend Old Town Hall today that Mr Lal died of heat exposure with burns.
The sauna was working properly and was heated between 73 to 76 Celsius.
Mr Jerreat, who said he had only heard of one other similar case, told the jury: "When you're diabetic, lowering your blood pressure can be a very dangerous thing.
"In a sauna, you're sweating too much and there's fluid loss. The skin starts to sweat making the heart work harder and as the area becomes more humid, that stops the skin being able to sweat and all these processes can lead to heart failure.
"You're against these hot surfaces and that can burn you. There's nothing else to explain the burns. Sitting in 70 degrees is like this man sitting in boiling water."
Cascades Leisure Centre in Gravesend
Cascades facilities manager Wayne Pedrick gave CPR at the scene.
The jury heard the sauna was a year old and signs recommended people only stay inside for 20 minutes.
Gravesham council's environmental health officer Mandy Cartwright carried out an investigation and said the temperature could only be changed by staff from a control room.
She also recommended placing an alarm inside the sauna.
Coroner Roger Hatch said: "I express my sympathies, as I'm sure the jury does, to the family."
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death today.
Stories you might have missed
- Click here for more Gravesend news
- Click here for more news from across the county