Excessive chemo dose led to distress for RTE producer, inquiry told
Published 23/09/2016 | 02:30
The husband of a deceased RTÉ producer told of his wife's distress and discomfort in the months following the prescription of an excessive chemotherapy dose.
Eddie Johnson, the husband of Sinéad Ní Dhúlaing Johnson, told a Medical Council inquiry in Dublin of his wife's suffering after she had taken an excessive dose of chemotherapy medication for more than two weeks.
Mr Johnson said his wife, who produced children's television shows at RTÉ, was prescribed 350mls of chemotherapy drug Temozolomide - over twice the correct dose - on August 13, 2008, by a medical oncologist referred to as Dr A throughout the inquiry.
Ms Ní Dhúlaing Johnson should have only been prescribed 135mls, to be taken in the form of a 150ml tablet daily, the inquiry heard on Wednesday.
Dr A, who works at the Beacon Hospital in south Dublin, is facing allegations that an incorrect dose of Temozolomide was prescribed to Ms Ní Dhúlaing Johnson on August 13, 2008.
It is also claimed that Dr A then failed to disclose in a timely manner that an incorrect dose of the medication had been prescribed.
Mr Johnson said yesterday his wife began taking the chemotherapy tablets on 20 August but, within a couple of days, "didn't feel right".
On September 5, Ms Ní Dhúlaing Johnson met with Dr A. The doctor said that, because Ms Ní Dhúlaing Johnson's blood count was low, she should stop taking the chemotherapy, so she did.
Ms Ní Dhúlaing was admitted to the Beacon hospital on September 9. Mr Johnson said that it was only on September 19 that Dr A told him about the mistake regarding the excessive dosage, and apologised profusely.
Mr Johnson said yesterday that by the beginning of October, "Sinéad had hit rock bottom".
On Wednesday, Eileen Barrington SC said there was no suggestion that Dr A's mistake caused or hastened Ms Ní Dhúlaing Johnson's death. The inquiry continues today.