10 Jun 2015

Doctor gave potentially fatal drug despite warnings

5:52 pm on 10 June 2015

A Christchurch woman was given an antibiotic she was allergic to despite warnings in her medical notes and on her Medic Alert bracelet.

Christchurch pensioner Laurie Richardson said the mistake resulted in an agonising death for his wife Eunice at Princess Margaret Hospital in Christchurch in 2013.

Mr Richardson said it beggared belief, when her bracelet clearly said she was allergic to Trimethoprim.

She got the Medic Alert in 2006 when doctors told her she would die if she was given the drug again.

Mr Richardson said the doctor involved in her treatment said she did not read the notes and a nurse told the family she did not see the Medic Alert warning.

He said his wife was very aware of the name of the drug and made sure everyone knew not to give it to her.

He said she was dumbfounded and angry when the doctor admitted to the family that she had been administered Trimethoprim.

The Health and Disability Commissioner's report into a complaint about Ms Richardson's treatment has just arrived at the coroner's office, and an inquest will be scheduled.