GP suffering from swine flu dies

A GP from Bedfordshire suffering from swine flu has died, increasing the UK death toll to 17.

Dr Michael Day
Dr Michael Day

Dr Michael Day died on Saturday in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

The exact cause of his death is still to be confirmed. However, a swab had been taken from Dr Day which confirmed that he had contracted the (A)H1N1 virus.

Dr Paul Hassan, senior partner at Priory Gardens Health Centre where Dr Day was based, said: ‘This news has come as such a shock to us all and we are completely devastated.

‘Dr Day was a work colleague and also a personal friend to everyone at the practice.'

The DoH has said that GPs and other frontline healthcare staff are likely to be among the first groups to be vaccinated when the swine flu vaccine becomes available in August.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘Our first thoughts are for Dr Day and his family and for all other victims of swine flu.

'While these individual deaths are tragedies for the families concerned it is very important that members of the public do not panic, and continue to follow health advice about swine flu and managing it if they are infected.

'Doctors have always accepted that there are risks associated with their job. Obviously these are smaller than they used to be with the advent of modern medicine, but they can never be eliminated altogether.

'It is understandable that people will be worried when they hear that a GP has died but we urge them to follow the recommended advice and contact their family doctor, rather than physically going to the surgery if they have symptoms.

The vast majority of people will recover quickly by taking paracetamol or ibuprofen, and drinking plenty of fluids. Anyone who is not recovering quickly should get extra advice as a small number will need more intensive treatment.

'We must remember that every year there are deaths from complications of seasonal flu; this is unfortunately inevitable with any strain of influenza.'

RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field said: ‘On hearing this very sad news our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr Michael Day, a well-respected local GP in Dunstable. Dr Day's death will without doubt be a huge loss to his family and to the profession.   

‘While the cause of Dr Day's death has yet to be confirmed, it is extremely important to remember that swine flu is currently a relatively mild condition in the majority of cases.  The RCGP has been working with the government on robust flu pandemic plans for a number of years and we are confident that the systems we have in place will cope well with the current pandemic.  

‘H1N1 (swine) flu has been relatively mild in the majority of cases but unfortunately a few people have died.  GPs are working long hours to selflessly provide care to patients during the swine flu pandemic and are on the front line - assessing patients with complications in their homes and arranging treatment for them.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

VISIT OUR SWINE FLU RESOURCE CENTRE

 


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