Shipman waited as `victim of stroke' died

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DR HAROLD Shipman yesterday told his trial of a decision not to resuscitate one of the 15 women he is accused of killing when he found that she had collapsed in her home.

Dr Shipman said he thought that 67-year-old Marie Quinn had had a stroke when he discovered her lying on the kitchen floor of her house in Hyde, Greater Manchester, on 24 November 1997. He told Preston Crown Court that Mrs Quinn had telephoned his surgery complaining of weakness in her arm and leg.

When he arrived at her house he shouted his name but got no response, he said. "I moved into the kitchen and she was on the floor in front of the store. I knelt down and there didn't seem to be any obvious injury."

He added: "I made the decision that I would not attempt resuscitation. I would review the situation in two minutes. But two minutes later there was no sign of life and she had died."

Dr Shipman said he had made the decision not to try to revive her because, in his experience, chances of full recovery were poor.

It was the third day of giving evidence for Dr Shipman, ofMottram, Greater Manchester. He denies murdering Mrs Quinn and 14 other women patients, and forging a pounds 386,000 will in the name of one of them.

Dr Shipman also told the court yesterday of how one of his alleged victims, 63-year-old Ivy Lomas, of Hyde, collapsed and died in his surgery despite efforts to revive her on 29 May 1997. He said the resuscitation methods he used on Mrs Lomas "did not seem effective".

His counsel, Nicola Davies QC, asked him: "How long did you try?"

The doctor replied: "I know now I tried for about 15 minutes. It seemed longer but after 15 minutes I had no response and I had to make a decision to carry on or stop.

"I decided Mrs Lomas had died and that she was not capable of being resuscitated."

Dr Shipman told the jury that he did not call for help from receptionist Carol Chapman because it would have used up vital resuscitation time and left the surgery's front desk unmanned. In hindsight, Dr Shipman said he should have called for an ambulance.

The doctor said at the time he had no doubt that Mrs Lomas had died of a heart attack. He thought it inappropriate to tell Mrs Chapman of Mrs Lomas's death in front of other patients. "I saw the first three patients and then told Carol. I told her that Mrs Lomas had died and had a pulmonary and would she try and get hold of Jack, her son."

Miss Davies said that MrsChapman had told the court in evidence that the doctor had emerged after taking Mrs Lomas into the treatment room looking flushed and tired.

Dr Shipman was also asked about a conversation he had had with PC John Reid about Mrs Lomas. Miss Davies saidthe officer remembered that the GP had said that he had shown Mrs Lomas to the treatment room to rest, and that when he returned about 15 minutes later found her dead. Miss Davies asked: "Did you say that to the officer?" Dr Shipman replied: "No, I did not."

The trial continues.