Woman who had heart attack after attending GP sues in High Court

Mother-of-six Joan Doyle said her family doctor said her heart and lungs were perfect after checks.
Woman who had heart attack after attending GP sues in High Court

High Court reporters

A woman who was in a coma for four days after she suffered a heart attack at her Kerry home weeks after she attended her GP with “horrible” chest pain has sued the doctor in the High Court.

Mother-of-six Joan Doyle told the High Court her family doctor, when she went to him with “horrible and severe pain” which had travelled up her neck and down her shoulder, after checks said her heart and lungs were perfect and an ECG was fine.

“I still had pain but I was happy because my heart and lungs were fine. I was still in distress but I felt relieved,” she told Mr Justice Tony O'Connor.

She said she does not remember over three weeks later on the night of April 17th, 2019 when she suffered a cardiac arrest in her kitchen but said her husband James, who performed CPR on her, saved her life.

Joan Doyle (66) of Kilgobnet, Beaufort, Killarney, Co Kerry has sued her family doctor for the last ten years Edmond Prendiville, of Daly's Lane Practice, Killorglin, Co Kerry over the care she received.

The court heard all the claims are denied and liability is at issue in the case.

'Substandard' care

Opening the action Eugene Gleeson SC, instructed by Kent Carty Solicitors, told the court it was their case that the GP's care of Mrs Doyle was allegedly “substandard”.

Counsel added it was their contention that when Mrs Doyle presented with chest pain on March 26th, 2019 she should have been given aspirin and arrangements made for her to go to hospital.

In the proceedings it is claimed there was an alleged failure to prescribe any medication to assist Mrs Doyle with an earlier elevated platelet count and an alleged failure to recognise ECG results of March 2019 were allegedly abnormal.

There was, it is further claimed, an alleged failure to call for urgent ambulance services and administer medication such as aspirin upon reading the alleged abnormal ECG reading of March 2019.

There was also, it is claimed, an alleged failure to notice that Mrs Doyle had cardiac pain when she complained of pain in the left arm and pain travelling up into her neck when she attended the doctor on March 26th, 2019.

There was, it is further claimed, an alleged failure to take into account the medical history of Mrs Doyle on March 26th 2019 and to have her reviewed for acute coronary syndrome.

It is claimed she remained in hospital until May 2019 and months later had to have a defibrillator fitted.

Simons Mills, SC for the GP, told the court that a GP expert on their side will say based on a blind reading of the ECG taken on March 26th 2019, along with the information in the clinical notes, he too would have concluded there was no cardiac event.

The case before Mr Justice Tony O'Connor continues.

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