March 5, 2010 1:05:03 pm
An Indian-origin woman surgeon in the UK’s National Health Service has been found guilty of misconduct after accidentally removing 90 per cent of a baby’s bladder during an operation described by a key medical panel as “catastrophic.”
The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled after a fitness-to-practise hearing that actions of Pierina Kapur,who gained her medical qualifications from the University of London in 1991,went ‘beyond mere negligence’ during the blunder.
The GMC will decide later this month whether to impose sanctions on Kapur’s responsibilities at work.
The decision was welcomed by the baby’s parents,who said they accepted the surgeon was “truly sorry” for the “pain and suffering” she had caused to their daughter.
Kapur admitted causing irreparable damage to the infant’s urinary tract during a hernia repair at Manchester Children’s Hospital in Salford.
The girl,who was seven weeks old at the time,will have to use a catheter for the rest of her life.
Kapur conceded she cut out the majority of the bladder after mistaking it for the hernial sac during the operation in October 2008. She also failed to order an ultrasound scan as the infant’s health went downhill after the operation.
The GMC fitness-to-practise panel was told in Manchester that Kapur’s confidence had improved since the operation in 2008,and that senior colleagues “had no reservations or concerns as to her surgical skills.”
However,the GMC ruled: “Whilst the panel acknowledges your efforts of remediation,it is concerned that you still remain unclear as to how the catastrophic events occurred on October 2,2008.”
The panel has concluded that the proved conduct in this case goes beyond mere negligence and it is sufficiently serious so as to cross the threshold and amount to misconduct.
“The panel has determined that your fitness to practice is impaired by reason of your misconduct,” it said.
The GMC registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK. Its purpose is to protect,promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.
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