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GP 'did not feel Tonna nurse needed hospital care'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

Sarah Thomas

A GP who paid a house visit to a Tonna dental nurse the evening before she died has given evidence at an inquest.

Sarah Thomas — who battled with the after-effects of a brain tumour which left her without two-thirds of her vision — died at her home on May 5, 2007. Paramedics had attended her home hours before her death but she was not taken to hospital.

The inquest previously heard that, following an operation to remove Miss Thomas's tumour, she was required to take the drug hydrocortisone daily.

Her father Kenneth Thomas said: "She took care of her own medication."

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GP Gloria Kahan attended their School Road home at around 5pm on May 4. Mr Thomas had been suffering from a stomach bug and Miss Thomas had vomited that evening.

On day four of the hearing it was heard that Dr Kahan carried out a series of checks on Miss Thomas and prescribed antibiotics and an antiemetic (a drug to combat nausea).

Coroner Philip Rogers asked Dr Kahan about Miss Thomas's intake of existing medication.

"She had taken her day's medication already and there was no concern about her not having absorbed it," she said.

She added: "I spoke to Mrs Thomas and said that if she (Miss Thomas) was not able to keep down the morning's hydrocortisone or if they were concerned about her to call the out-of-hours doctors."

Victoria Hillier, representing two paramedics, David Glover and Michael Davies, who attended the home at 1am, asked Dr Kahan if she considered taking Miss Thomas to hospital or giving her an injection of hydrocortisone.

She said: "I did consider these options but I felt she did not need that at that time."

Giving evidence, Dr Steven Hicks, an expert in GP practice, said the standard of care from Dr Kahan had been "reasonable".

Evidence was also given by paramedics Andrew Wyson and John Bladen, who attended the home when Miss Thomas was found dead in the morning.

Mr Wyson said he spoke to Mr Thomas. "He said a crew was called to the address. The crew tried to take her to hospital but she refused," he said.

In his evidence Mr Thomas claimed they were "persuaded" that she was in the best place.

The hearing continues.

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