independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Doctor’s treatment of tragic Vicki Core ‘below standard expected’ - expert

Vicki Core
Vicki Core

A Medical Council inquiry in to a doctor who diagnosed 20 year old Vicki Core with gastric flu less than 24 hours after she died of pneumonia has been told by an expert witness that his treatment seriously short of the standard that could be expected of a GP.

Dr Donal Buckley has been giving evidence on behalf of the CEO of the Medical Council, which is taking a case of Professional Misconduct against the doctor whose name has been withheld and who has been identified only as Dr A.

Dr A faces 11 allegations of professional misconduct in relation to his treatment of Ms Core when she visited his surgery on June 30 2007.

The trainee hairdresser from Tallaght in Dublin collapsed in her parent’s house less than 24 hours later and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Adelaide and Meath hospital.

Yesterday the inquiry was told by Ms Core’s father Thomas that she told Dr A she was suffering from shortness of breath, palpitations and weakness when he accompanied her to Dr A’s surgery.

This is in conflict with Dr A’s medical notes taken at the time in which these details were not recorded.

Today Dr Donal Buckley told the inquiry that because of the conflict between what Vicki Core’s family have described as their daughter’s symptoms and the symptoms recorded by Dr A in his notes, the question of professional misconduct depends on which evidence was accepted.

However Dr Buckley said overall, considering the evidence given by Thomas Core, including a statement he gave to the gardai and his description of the consultation, he would feel Dr A fell seriously short of the standard of care that could be expected of him.

Dr A denies all the allegations against him, which include that he failed to take an adequate medical history from Vicki Core, that he failed to carry out appropriate investigations, that he failed to take consideration of the symptoms Ms Core was suffering from as reported to him by her family and that he failed to have her referred to hospital.

Kevin Keane

Irish Independent

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