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'GP told Vicki she had flu ... but hours later she was dead'

A GP told a young hairdresser that she had the flu hours before she collapsed and died, a medical inquiry has been told.

The doctor prescribed Motilium to Vicki Core (20) from Tallaght and allegedly told her she would start to feel better "within 72 hours".

She died from severe bronchial pneumonia in an ambulance on the way to hospital. Less than 24 hours before she died, Vicki visited a GP and was told she had gastric flu, it was claimed at an inquiry yesterday.

It was also alleged additional notes were made to medical records by the doctor who had seen Ms Core the evening before she passed away.

The doctor did not highlight the additions to the notes as "retrospective additions", a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee Inquiry was told.

It is one of 11 allegations being made against the GP, who can be known only as "Dr A" after the Medical Council made a highly unusual behind-closed-doors ruling to protect the doctor's anonymity before public proceedings began yesterday.

SYMPTOMS

The allegations against the Irish-born doctor include: that he failed to carry out a proper examination on Ms Core; that he failed to give adequate consideration to the symptoms she and her family were reporting to him and that he failed to arrange for her to be transferred to hospital. Dr A also faces the allegation that he altered his medical records after he became aware of Ms Core's death.

He denies all of the allegations.

There was heartbreaking evidence from Vicki's mother and her father during the first day of the inquiry.

Maureen Core told the inquiry her daughter had been feeling ill for a month previously and had been forced to take sick leave from her work at the John Adam hair and beauty salon in Rathmines.

She rang the GP's surgery seeking a referral note to take Vicki to hospital but was told to bring her to the clinic instead.

The doctor, it's alleged, prescribed Motilium, an over-the-counter remedy for an upset tummy. Vicki was told she would start to feel better "within 72 hours" according to her father, Thomas, who said he had to carry her into the surgery as she was so weak.

Mrs Core said her daughter's condition didn't change that night.

"The next morning she was struggling to get into the shower, she said 'I have to 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 V's mouth. The ambulance men put me out of the room."

The hearing continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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