The Medical Council has begun an inquiry in to a doctor accused of failing to diagnose pneumonia in a patient who died less than 24 hours after leaving his surgery.
The doctor, who at the direction of the Council’s fitness to practise inquiry, cannot be named and has been identified only as Dr A, allegedly told 20 year old Vicki Core that she was suffering from gastric flu.
The inquiry has heard that he prescribed Ms Core with motilium and told her to rest when he saw her on 30th June 2007.
However Ms Core collapsed the following morning, July 1st 2007, and was pronounced dead upon arrival to the Adelaide and Meath hospital in Tallaght.
A post mortem found her cause of death to be community acquired pneumonia.
The inquiry heard this morning from barrister Ms Nessa Bird, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the CEO of the Medical Council, that Dr A went on annual leave the day after seeing Ms Core.
She said that IT experts uncovered a number of changes made by Dr A to his medical records of his consultation with Ms Core. These were entered when he returned to work, more than a fortnight later.
Ms Corr’s mother Maureen Core told the inquiry that her daughter was so weak when she visited Dr A’s surgery the night before she died that she was forced to lie down on the floor of the waiting room.
She gave evidence that her daughter was having difficulty breathing and was vomiting at the time. Mrs Maureen Core said she was very concerned about her daughter.
She said when Vicky returned from the doctor she said Dr A had told her to rest and that she would feel ill for about 72 hours but that there was nothing to worry about.
Mrs Core said her daughter had a restless night and that the following morning she found her struggling to get in to the shower.
‘I went to phone an ambulance and as I was leaving the room there was a thud on the floor,’ Mrs Core said.
‘I tried to administer resuscitation and I was swallowing the fluids that were coming from Vicky’s mouth.
She said when she discovered later that her daughter had died on the way to hospital she ‘just dropped the phone.’
“I thought she’s still alive because she just left in an ambulance.”
By Kevin Keane