Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Swine flu FAI told pregnant daughter gave kiss of life

Bill Anderson
Image caption Bill Anderson died in hospital in Dunfermline in September 2009

The pregnant daughter of the first Scot with no pre-existing health problems to die from swine flu said she gave him the kiss of life in a bid to save him.

Bill Anderson, 53, from Fife, died days after falling ill in September 2009 with what turned out to be swine flu.

Monica Chasiridis was giving evidence at a fatal accident inquiry into his death at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

She said she was eight months pregnant with her baby son when her father collapsed in bed unconscious.

She ran through to his bedroom and, without thinking of her own safety or that of her unborn baby, tried to resuscitate him with mouth-to-mouth.

But Mr Anderson, from Kirkcaldy, never regained consciousness, and doctors switched off his life support machine the following day.

Professional nurse

Mrs Chasiridis said she and her husband Romanis were staying with her parents when her father started feeling ill.

She said she was "petrified about swine flu" as she was heavily pregnant and there was a pandemic going on at that time.

She said her father, a professional nurse, showed symptoms of the disease, including "vomiting, terrible diarrhoea, shivering, fever, pain in his body where his kidneys were, sleeplessness and exhaustion".

The probe heard Mr Anderson said he had been told by an out-of-hours GP on 5 September 2009, at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, that he only had "ordinary flu", and he told Monica he could cuddle her again without risk.

But Mrs Chasiridis said her father's condition worsened and she was woken in the early hours of 8 September by her mother, Linda.

She said: "He was sitting and his eyes were bulging out and his head was rolling.

"I was hysterical. I'd never seen anything like that.

"I went to my little sister and was screaming, and when I got back he had collapsed in bed."

'Like drowning'

Mrs Chasiridis said her sister Heather called 999 and took instructions over the phone before paramedics arrived.

She said: "I gave him mouth-to-mouth for about seven minutes. My little sister told me what to do.

"I automatically did mouth-to-mouth. I just wanted my dad to breath.

"It might seem not sensible but I didn't have any time to think about it."

Dr Anthony Toft, consultant physician at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, a former physician to the Queen in Scotland and a former president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, compiled a report on Mr Anderson's death.

Dr Toft said that Mr Anderson might have survived had he been admitted to hospital.

But he said he could not criticise Dr John Barron, the NHS Fife GP who saw Mr Anderson at the Victoria Hospital.

Dr Barron prescribed antibiotics and anti-sickness tablets, and sent Mr Anderson home, as he said his case did not fit guidelines for hospital admission at that time.

He said it appeared that Mr Anderson had been suffering from swine flu, but he had developed adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) rapidly.

Dr Toft said it was "unusual" for ARDS to arise as a consequence of swine flu, but when it did, patients had died.

He likened the condition to "drowning".

After listening to legal submissions, Sheriff Craig McSherry will give his determination in writing at a later date.

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