Botched prescription ‘played a part’ in pensioner’s death

Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 10/03/15 - Press - Moorcroft Nursing Home, Dewsbury, England - Manorcroft Care Home, GV, general view.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/YWNG - 10/03/15 - Press - Moorcroft Nursing Home, Dewsbury, England - Manorcroft Care Home, GV, general view.

A GP’s botched prescription played a part in the death of a 92-year-old woman, according to a doctor who treated her before she died.

GP Dr Philip Turner misread Alma Davey’s medical form and prescribed penicillin despite adverse reactions to the drug as far back as 1981. She died 19 days later on July 19, 2013.

An inquest is currently taking place into the death of Mrs Davey, who lived in Morley for 60 years before going into Manorcroft Care Home in Earlsheaton.

Bradford Coroners’ Court was told by nurse Paula Hunt that Mrs Davey was a frail woman when admitted to the home in March 2013.

On July 1, a request for a GP visit was made for Mrs Davey as she was suffering from a chesty cough.

Dr Turner, who had worked at Grove House Surgery in Batley for 12 years, attended with a medical print-out generated at the surgery.

On it was a list of drugs to which Mrs Davey was allergic, including penicillin, but also the words ‘no known allergies’.

Dr Turner, who is now retired, prescribed amoxicillin, a type of penicillin.

When asked by assistant Bradford Coroner Dr Dominic Bell why this happened, he said: “I can only presume I scanned it too quickly and took in no allergies as opposed to the other ones.”

Speaking directly to Mrs Davey’s family, he said: “I would like to apologise for what happened.”

Dr Niall Cox, geriatric consultant physician at Dewsbury and District Hospital, said he believed an allergic reaction to penicillin was a “contributory” factor in Mrs Davey’s death.

He said frailty played the biggest role in her death, followed by chest infection, renal impairment and a allergic reaction, in no particular order.

The court heard that on July 10, just before her hospital admission, Mrs Davey had a swollen tongue, a rash around the middle of her body and some green liquid coming out of her mouth.

It was the opinion of Grove House GP Dr Moira Lynch, who saw her on that day, that her condition was due to septicaemia and was not related to her allergy.

A statement read out in court on behalf of Mrs Davey’s son, Edwin Bolderson, said: “It was distressing to see her like that. I am very unhappy that my mum was given penicillin.”

It added: “My mum was a great sister, mum, grandma and great-grandma.”

A statement from her daughter, Shirley Gibson, said she was surprised and upset there was no mention of the allergy at the time of her mother’s death.

The inquest is expected to finish tomorrow.