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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 14:29 GMT
Errors led to boy's dental death
General Medical Council in London
A four-inch burn mark was on Bradley Legge's chest
An anaesthetist has admitted making a series of errors which led to the death of a five-year-old boy following routine dental surgery.

Bradley Legge was put under general anaesthetic at the Portsmouth Dental Clinic in Southsea to have four fillings and two milk teeth taken out.

But during the operation in September 1998 the youngster went into cardiac arrest and suffered brain damage as 47-year-old Dr Peter Armstrong tried to revive him.

At a General Medical Council (GMC) hearing Dr Armstrong admitted making a series of mistakes in Bradley's treatment but denied serious professional misconduct.

Electric shocks

Rose Foster, for the GMC, said Dr Armstrong failed to adhere to guidelines about monitoring and resuscitation.

And his conduct, she said, meant he had acted "irresponsibly and certainly inappropriately" during the procedure.

Bradley Legge never regained consciousness and 37 days after the treatment he died at home in Paulsgrove, Hampshire, when doctors decided there was nothing further they could do for him.

The hearing was told that Dr Armstrong administered atropine which is used to increase heart rate and gave him a succession of electric shocks.

Th shocks were said to have been five times greater than appropriate for a five-year-old boy.

Blood pressure

A paramedic who attended the surgery found a four-inch burn mark on Bradley's chest.

Dr Armstrong admitted that he should have used more adrenaline when it became clear there was an emergency.

He has also admitted failing to weigh the youngster or monitoring his blood pressure during the operation.

Ms Foster told the hearing that weighing Bradley would have given an accurate basis for deciding on drug dosage.

She said Dr Armstrong had acted outside the limits of his professional competence.

Dr Armstrong, from Poole in Dorset, was working for the Poggo group when the operation was carried out.

The hearing continues.

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