Doctor found guilty of professional misconduct in death of Vicki Core
Published 17/02/2014 | 18:02
A GP has been found guilty by a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee on two counts of professional misconduct after a twenty-year-old woman died from cardiac arrest linked to pneumonia less than 24 hours after leaving his walk-in clinic.
Trainee hair stylist Vicki Core from Tallaght, Dublin, died on July 1, 2007 in an ambulance on the way to hospital from cardiac arrest linked to bronchial pneumonia, a post mortem revealed.
Less than 24 hours before she collapsed at her home, she had visited a walk-in clinic and was attended by 'Dr A', who cannot be named.
It was claimed previously at the Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee inquiry that she was told she had gastric flu and 'Dr A', it is alleged, prescribed Motilium, an over the counter drug used to treat stomach upsets.
The following morning Ms Core collapsed at home in Tallaght and died on the way to hospital.
'Dr A' originally faced 11 allegations of professional misconduct in relation to his treatment of Ms Core when she visited his surgery on June 30 2007.
However on the second day of the inquiry six of the 11 allegations of professional misconduct were withdrawn.
Today, he was found guilty on two allegations of professional misconduct.
He was found to have failed to carry out all appropriate examinations of Ms Cole and or failed to carry out one or more examinations in a competent manner.
The committee found "no adequate abdominal or respiratory examination was carried out."
He was also found to have failed to give adequate consideration to the symptoms Ms Core was suffering from as reported by her and the members of her family.
The remaining allegations were not proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Earlier this morning expert witness Dr Stephen Murphy, a GP with a practice in Cabinteely, Dublin gave evidence to the committee and said it seemed to him that there "appeared to be no evidence of the catastrophic events that took place the following day" when Ms Core attended the walk in surgery on Saturday.
He said in his opinion there was two incidents. A malaise that occurred over a few weeks, and an acute event which took place over a day or two.
This afternoon counsel for the Medical Council CEO Neasa Bird said in her closing submission to the committee that, if the council accepted Ms Core's father Thomas Core's direct evidence of what happened in the surgery, there was several incidences where 'Dr A' seriously fell short of the standard of conduct.
Counsel for Dr A, Ciaran Craven said there was a "gap in the evidence" given by Mr Core and said "memories invariably fray with time."
"His recollection was imperfect, and he admitted his recollection was imperfect," he said.
He also advised the committee that no inference must be drawn "adverse or otherwise" by Dr A not giving evidence.