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Doctor struck off for ‘repeated dishonesty’ over death of child in 1995

A doctor who attempted to cover up the true circumstances of the death in 1995 of a four-year-old patient has been struck off.

Consultant paediatric anaesthetist Dr Robert Taylor dishonestly misled police and a public inquiry about his treatment of Adam Strain, who died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, a medical tribunal found.

The youngster was admitted for a kidney transplant at the hospital following renal failure but did not survive surgery in November 1995.

Six months later an inquest ruled Adam died from cerebral oedema – brain swelling – partly due to the onset of dilutional hyponatraemia, which occurs when there is a shortage of sodium in the bloodstream.

Two expert anaesthetists told the coroner that the administration of an excess volume of fluids containing small amounts of sodium caused the hyponatraemia.

But Dr Taylor resisted any criticism of his fluid management and refused to accept the condition had been caused by his administration of too much of the wrong type of fluid.

In 2004 a UTV documentary When Hospitals Kill raised concerns about the treatment of a number of children, including Adam, and led to the launch of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry.

The tribunal found Dr Taylor acted dishonestly on four occasions in his dealings with the the public inquiry, including failing to disclose to the inquiry a number of clinical errors he made and falsely claiming to detectives he spoke to Adam’s mother before surgery.

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Source: The Independent, 22 June 2022


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