Doctor penalised for amoxicillin error

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 June, 2013, 4:12am

A gynaecologist has been penalised by the Medical Council for prescribing amoxicillin to a patient who was allergic to it.

Dr Lok Yee-ha prescribed the antibiotic while treating the patient for a bacterial infection at a Sha Tin medical centre in 2009.

Lok was removed from the general register for one month and suspended for a year, meaning her name will not be removed if she does not commit further offences during the year.

After taking the medicine, the patient developed a rash all over her body and bled under the skin.

"The defendant did not exercise proper care in prescribing the medicines," said temporary council chairman professor Felice Lieh-Mak. "This is a fundamental disregard of her professional responsibility, as such neglect can, and in fact it did, lead to serious consequences to the patient."

The patient spent two weeks in the Union Hospital for treatment of her allergic reactions.

"Her health alarms kept sounding," her husband wrote in a letter of complaint. "Our family lived in fear every day."

Lok, who has been registered for more than 20 years, is working at the Prestige Medical Centre's Tsim Sha Tsui branch.

Through lawyer Woody Chang Wah-yan she apologised for the error, saying she voluntarily suspended herself from work for nine months in 2011 to reflect on her mistake and had settled civil claims filed by the patient. Chang said she was absent from the disciplinary hearing as she had been under a lot of stress over the past few years because of the case.

The patient consulted Lok in September 2008 at the Prestige Medical Centre's Sha Tin branch and told her about her allergy to penicillin.

Lok entered the information in the computer but did not add it to the "allergy alert" function in the system, the council heard.