Doctor found guilty of poor professional performance after STD misdiagnosis

GP failed to take patient’s monogamous relationship into account

A Dublin GP has been found guilty on eight counts of poor professional performance after telling a patient she was suffering from herpes, a sexually transmitted infection, without taking into account her monogamous relationship with her husband.

A Dublin GP has been found guilty on eight counts of poor professional performance after telling a patient she was suffering from herpes, a sexually transmitted infection, without taking into account her monogamous relationship with her husband.

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 14:29

A Dublin GP has been found guilty on eight counts of poor professional performance after telling a patient she was suffering from herpes, a sexually transmitted infection, without taking into account her monogamous relationship with her husband.

The Medical Council issued its findings today concerning Dr Iman Ekky of Drumcondra Clinic in Dublin who was facing eight allegations from a woman who can be identified only as Patient A.

A report on the matter will now be presented to the board of the Medical Council who will decide what - if any - sanctions will be imposed on Dr Ekky.

Patient A and her husband of 18 years had claimed they were caused undue distress following Dr Ekky’s diagnosis of herpes in the absence of clinical evidence in April 2012.

The inquiry heard on Tuesday that the GP said the condition had been dormant in Patient A. The couple sought a second opinion two days later. The second doctor diagnosed a cyst arising from a blocked Bartholin’s gland.

It had been claimed it was poor professional performance to mistake a blocked Bartholin’s gland for herpes and not to take into consideration the couple’s sexually faithful marriage.

Speaking after today’s ruling, Patient A’s husband said the couple were relieved and delighted the episode was at an end. “The Bartholin cyst is an extremely common condition that’s both easily diagnosed and treated,” he said.

“We hope and pray that nobody ever again has to go through the stress, devastation and utter embarrassment for my wife and family in regard to such a treatment and misdiagnosis.

“For another couple that may be going through a rough patch or just starting out, it could have been utterly devastating,” he added.

Dr Ekky was found guilty on eight counts of poor professional performance - as distinct from the more serious charge of professional misconduct.

She “diagnosed Patient A with the herpes virus and/or treated [HER]accordingly in circumstances where there was no clinical evidence of this diagnosis”.

“On one or more occasions [SHE]informed Patient A that she was suffering from the herpes virus when she knew or ought to have known that was not the case. She failed to take into account Patient A’s medical history, to include but not limited to Patient A informing [HER]that she was in a monogamous relationship.

“She failed to consider adequately all of Patient A’s presenting symptoms. She prescribed Patient A the medication Daktacort, which is contra-indicated for patients who have the herpes virus, [AND]failed to maintain adequate and/or accurate medical records in respect of Patient A.

“[SHE ] caused Patient A and/or her husband undue distress as a result of her informing Patient A that she had the herpes virus. She failed to extend confidence in knowledge and skill - or the application of knowledge and skill - that could reasonably be expected of a GP in respect of the totality of the treatment of Patient A.”

Three more allegations of poor professional performance were withdrawn during the case. These were that Dr Ekky “failed to carry out an adequate examination of Patient A, failed to carry out one or more diagnostic tests, [AND]failed to follow up and/or provide Patient A with the results of the swab tests”.

Dr Ekky, who qualified in 1993 had denied the allegations of poor professional performance but accepted the events caused distress and had apologised.

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