Drug blunder that triggered allergy did not kill woman, 88, inquest rules

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A DRUG prescribed to a Leeds grandmother despite her being allergic to it did not cause her death, an inquest has ruled.

Joyce Thain suffered a rash and seizures after being given anti-biotic Trimethoprim by her GP to treat an infection in October 2011. An inquest into her death heard that Mrs Thain, who suffered from a neurodegenerative disease though to be dementia or Parkinson’s, had a known allergy to the drug which was clearly stated on her medical records.

She was taken to St James’s Hospital for treatment and later discharged to Acacia Court Care Home in Pudsey where she had lived since 2010.

She died on November 29 2011, just before her 88th birthday.

A post-mortem report gave her cause of death as broncho-pneumonia linked to dementia.

The inquest returned a narrative verdict, which said: “Mrs Thain had a known allergy or adverse reaction to the antibiotic drug Trimethoprim, which was referred to in both the care home and her GP records. On October 21 2011 she developed a urinary tract infection and was erroneously prescribed Trimethoprim by her GP. A detailed examination by a forensic pathologist, a consultant neuropathologist and consultant chemical pathologist does not implicate the erroneous Trimethoprim treatment as the cause of Mrs Thrain’s clinical deterioration and cause of death.”

Earlier in the inquest, Mrs Thain’s daughter Jennifer McConnell had asked forensic pathologist Dr Christopher Johnson if it was possible that an allergic reaction could have accelerated her mother’s death.

Dr Johnson said: “I don’t think you can exclude it.”