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Deaths linked to doctors wrongly diagnosing swine flu

21 September 2009

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Patients have died because doctors mistakenly diagnosed swine flu over the phone, according to a survey by the health magazine Pulse.

Three out of 205 GPs and practice managers report a patient dying after being misdiagnosed, while 91% want the policy of offering Tamiflu to all patients with flu symptoms to be reviewed.

The magazine quotes an unnamed GP as saying that that a patient died from meningitis after being wrongly diagnosed, and that two other practices, in Dorset and Wiltshire, have also reported patient deaths.

According to government figures, the number of swine flu cases have risen in the past week, prompting fears that the expected winter surge is about to get under way.

Meanwhile, a third of GPs report severe complications as a result of tonsillitis, meningitis and pneumonia being overlooked, as well as adverse reactions to the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

Copyright © Press Association 2009