herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Pharmacist 'didn't know EpiPen was for daughter'

pharmacist
pharmacist

A pharmacist who refused to dispense an EpiPen without prescription to the mother of a teenager who tragically died from an allergic reaction told an inquest the "dynamic" would have been different if he had known it was for her daughter.

David Murphy told Dublin Coroner's Court that when 14-year-old Emma Sloan's mother came into Hamilton Long Pharmacy on O'Connell Street on December 18, 2013 to request the pen, he was not told it was for her daughter. Emma, from Mourne Road, Drimnagh in Dublin 12, was outside at the time.

"It would have changed the dynamic because I would have been able to ask different questions," he said. "If the person wasn't there it was difficult to make a clinical assessment.

"Ms Sloan was very calm. She did not say it was her daughter. She did not say that there was an allergic reaction occurring," he said.

However, Emma's mother Caroline Sloan said she told pharmacy staff the EpiPen, an adrenalin shot which reverses the effects of anaphylactic shock, was for her daughter.

"I went over that night every night for the last 15 months. I don't sleep so I know what was said," she said.

Emma became ill having mistakenly eaten satay sauce at a Chinese buffet restaurant.

Ms Sloan said they were on their way to the car to go to Temple Street Children's Hospital and had turned onto O'Connell Street when Emma started to get "panicky, saying she couldn't breathe".

Ms Sloan said she offered to pay for the EpiPen but the pharmacist said he couldn't dispense it without a prescription. When she returned to the car minutes later her daughter had collapsed. Ms Sloan told the court she was "screaming like a lunatic" for someone to help.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

hnews@herald.ie

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