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Expert witness highlights 'error of judgment'

A Doctor's decision to send a patient home shortly before he bled to death was wrong, a fatal accident inquiry was told yesterday. Perth Sheriff Court heard that Ronald Gilmore aged 78 was attended to at Perth Royal Infirmary with a burst leg ulcer. He was sent home and died a few hours later, when the leg started bleeding again.

Expert witness Dr Gregor Campbell-Hewson told the inquiry the decision to discharge Ronald Gilmour in April 2008 was an error of judgment.

In his view a combination of factors in Mr Gilmour's case meant it would have been safer to admit him to Perth Royal Infirmary.

Hospital observation would have made treatment was available if Mr Gilmour lived alone in a remote area, a distance from the hospital, and was using the anti- coagulant drug Warfarin.

The doctor who made the decision to send Mr Gilmour home has already told the inquiry that she regretted it. Dr Katherine Harper said she should have admitted him to the hospital overnight.

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