A doctor has admitted misleading other medics after the warning sign of a raised temperature for Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey was concealed hours before she fell seriously ill with the Ebola virus.
Dr Hannah Ryan took the temperature of the nurse as they waited to go through Ebola virus screening at Heathrow Airport, medical watchdogs heard. They had been working in Sierra Leone with other UK medics who had volunteered to help treat victims of the deadly virus which killed thousands in West Africa in 2014, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal was told.
But after flying home “keen” to be back for Christmas, Dr Ryan took Ms Cafferkey’s temperature which was 38.2 centigrade - above the 37.5 centigrade threshold which is a warning sign for Ebola.
Dr Ryan was in a state of “disbelief, fear and panic” at the raised reading and instead of alerting Public Health England (PHE) medics at Heathrow screening groups returning from West Africa, a lower temperature was recorded of 37.2 - and Miss Cafferkey was eventually allowed to catch her connecting flight to Glasgow to go home.
She fell seriously ill the next day and tested positive for the Ebola virus.
Dr Ryan has admitted misleading others and “acquiesced” in the wrong temperature being given, but denies misconduct by her actions at the airport and during a subsequent investigation by Public Health England.
Fraser Coxhill, representing the General Medical Council, said Dr Ryan and Ms Cafferkey were one group among many British medics who put their own lives at risk by volunteering their medical skills and going to west Africa to help fight the outbreak. The tribunal continues.