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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
Inquest into journalist's death
Penny Campbell
Ms Campbell had been treated for piles before her death
A journalist who died from multiple organ failure had consulted eight doctors days before her death, an inquest has heard.

Penny Campbell, 41, who was an associate editor at Time magazine, died in March last year.

Ms Campbell, from Islington, north London, suffered organ failure caused by septicaemia after she received an injection for haemorrhoids.

Poplar Coroner's Court in east London has adjourned the case until Thursday.

Four days before she died Ms Campbell consulted eight doctors through Camidoc (an out-of-hours GP service covering parts of north London), six of which were telephone consultations while two were face-to-face appointments.

The court heard she was diagnosed with various illnesses, ranging from flu to food poisoning and colic.

'Extensive rash'

On Wednesday 23 March, Ms Campbell was treated for piles.

She was unwell the next day and when she contacted the doctor who had treated her for piles, she was told it may be a virus.

Over the next two days, four doctors - one of whom she visited - gave her the same diagnosis.

On Saturday, Angus MacKinnon, who is a journalist with the AFP news agency and her partner for 20 years, returned from Manchester and was worried to see her.

Angus Mackinnon
Mr MacKinnon said his partner was healthy and exercised everyday

"She was feverish and had a rash. All her symptoms seemed to be steadily increasing.

"On the Sunday morning, I could see she had a very extensive rash on her neck and groin area going down her legs... That made me feel a bit panicky," he said.

The next morning a doctor visited her, eight hours after the first call to Camidoc that day, Mr MacKinnon said.

The doctor reassured them and said it was a reaction to food poisoning.

Early next morning when Ms Campbell called to complain about abdominal pains, she was told it may be colic.

Later in the evening she was advised to go to A&E. She died at the intensive care unit at the Royal London Hospital on the Tuesday.

Mr MacKinnon said his partner was healthy and exercised everyday and that she was a non-smoker.

They have a son, who was six-years-old at the time of her death.


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