A TEENAGER died from undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis just hours after visiting an out-of-hours doctor’s surgery.
Shannon Deakin, aged 16, limped into the Care UK walk-in centre in Barnsley Hospital with ‘knife-like’ pains after her left thigh swelled and turned red.
Newly-qualified locum GP Dr Karim Mohammed gave her anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.
Shannon, who had 11 GCSEs and was training to be a midwife, was told to see her own GP within 24 or 48 hours – but collapsed and died at home 12 hours later.
After the Sheffield inquest her parents Bryan, 59, and Sue, 44, said they were considering legal action against the GP and Care UK.
Mr Deakin said of their only child: “We don’t think she was given a chance. Since her death it has been a living nightmare. The day Shannon died, we died.”
Delivering a narrative verdict, coroner Chris Dorries said he had considered if ‘culpable human failure’ or ‘neglect’ contributed to Shannon’s death but found the appropriate legal criteria were not met.
Expert emergency medical consultant Dr Alan Fletcher said the GP on call, Dr Mohammed, should have examined Shannon’s calves where swelling is a tell-tale sign of DVT, but added it was so rare in the young a GP would think it unlikely.
Dr Mohammed said he excluded DVT during a 10-minute examination – but Shannon’s mother, who accompanied her daughter, told the inquest Dr Mohammed told her, ‘It’s either a blood clot or an infection’. Shannon texted her cousin four hours later with the same message.
GP expert Dr James Gray said it may have been prudent for Dr Mohammed to have arranged an ultrasound, and said he did not pick up on Shannon’s swollen foot which could have raised suspicions of a clot.
He said he was ‘unconvinced’ the GP had looked into all the risk factors associated with DVT.
A post-mortem examination showed Shannon, of Croft Road, Hoyland, died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot moving from her leg through her heart towards her lungs.
Mr Dorries said: “Shannon died in consequence of an undiagnosed DVT.
“She had sought medical assistance the previous day and, while there are unresolved conflicts of evidence about that consultation, it cannot be said, even at its highest, the examination and assessment amounted to gross failure.
“Even if diagnosed at that time it cannot be said a referral to hospital would more likely than not have saved Shannon’s life.”