Allergy check criticism28th March 2006
A coroner has criticised a surgeon who gave a Bradford woman penicillin despite her being allergic to the drug.
Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker said he would write to the Royal College of Surgeons expressing his concern after John Griffith told the inquest into the death of 38-year-old Teresa Innes it was "common practice" not to check if patients had allergies.
She died in August 2003, two years after falling into a coma, after being given the drug. A judge gave permission for the Bradford Royal Infirmary to end artificial feeding.
She had been due to have a minor operation on an infected insect bite on her leg. The coroner heard Ms Innes had worn a wristband warning doctors of her allergy as she went for an operation. Ms Innes arrived at the hospital with a warning letter from her GP and told four members of staff about her allergy.
The inquest heard how consultant general surgeon John Griffith recommended that Ms Innes was given the drug without asking whether she was allergic to penicillin - a practice he said was routine.
He said he was also concerned that Mr Griffith's was evading responsibility, claiming that he was giving a "recommendation for a prescription of a drug, not prescribing it."
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