A doctor in Letterkenny University Hospital is facing allegations of poor professional performance over the care of a baby girl who became gravely ill in 2013.
A Medical Council inquiry has begun investigating Consultant paediatrician Dr Matthew Thomas, Oak Grove, Woodlands, Letterkenny.
It is alleged that Dr Thomas failed to expedite the blood sampling and prescription of antibiotics for a baby girl who had chicken pox, RTE News reports.
Baby Mia Carlin was admitted to LUH on 24 June 2013 with chicken pox after being taken to NowDoc out-of-hours service with vomiting.
The inquiry heard that Mia became very ill and her mother Bernie Carlin said her eyes glazed over. She said she asked for blood tests to be taken from Mia at various times on 26 June. Blood was eventually taken at around 2.10pm that day.
It is alleged that Dr Thomas failed to ensure that blood sampling was expedited. It is also alleged that he failed to take steps to prescribe and start antibiotic treatment, promptly or at all, after the results showed they were needed.
Mia became gravely ill, developed toxic shock syndrome and was transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin on 27 June 2013. She spent several days in the intensive care unit there and two weeks in the hospital. Her mother Bernie said it was a miracle Mia was alive today. The little girl is said to be recovered and well.
Simon Mills, barrister for Dr Thomas, told the inquiry his client admits there was a clear delay in taking a blood sample.
But Dr Thomas does not admit there was a personal failure by him that amounts to poor professional performance.
Mr Mills said the doctor directed that the blood sample be taken in the morning, but it was not taken until the afternoon.
Mr Mills said a consultant does not take the blood test but entrusts this task to others. He said there was a computer print out from the lab with the results showing an abnormally raised C-Reactive Protein level (inflammation) at 4.29pm, but these were not brought to the attention of the attending team at 5pm.
Mr Mills said the results of the test were not available to Dr Thomas when he asked for them between 6.30 and 7pm that evening. A nurse became aware of them around 7.30pm.
Mr Mills said there was no dispute that the blood test should have been available earlier.
The Medical Council inquiry will continue for several days.