Doctor 'very sorry' for MS woman's fatal prescription error

Kymberley Holden Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kymberley Holden, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 11 months before she died, was found unconscious by her boyfriend

A GP whose prescribing error led to the death of a woman with multiple sclerosis has told her family he is "very, very sorry".

Dr Lawrence Axten mistakenly prescribed 10 times the correct dosage of painkiller OxyNorm to Kymberley Holden, 27, from Codnor, Derbyshire.

Ms Holden died after being found unconscious at home in November 2014.

Dr Axten told her inquest he unwittingly gave her a concentrated dose of the medication.

Ms Holden was prescribed Oxynorm to help her deal with severe pain in her legs and took three doses in the hours leading up to her death.

Tests showed she died from oxycodone intoxication - the generic name for OxyNorm - and Devic's disease.

Image caption Dr Axten said he was in shock when he found out the magnitude of his error

Lalitha Vaithianathar, her consultant neurologist and a forensic toxicologist, told Nottingham Coroner's Court it was the dosing of liquid OxyNorm over a short period of time in the final hours that caused the respiratory depression that led to her death.

Dr Axten said he was using a computer prescription system at the Ivy Grove surgery in Ripley when he made the mistake.

Speaking of the moment he learned of his error following Ms Holden's death, he told the inquest: "I was in quite a lot of shock. I couldn't believe I had done it to be honest."

At the conclusion of his evidence he turned to Ms Holden's family and said: "I'm very, very sorry. I truly am."

The inquest continues.

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