Brain scan should have seen by senior doctor, inquiry told
A "different outcome may have emerged" if a 23-year-old man had been seen by a more senior doctor when he was admitted to hospital, 48 hours before he died.
The opinion was given by an independent medical expert who gave evidence at a Medical Council hearing into how Mark Haran, of Moorechurch, Julianstown, Co Meath, died after a consultant radiologist allegedly misread a vital scan.
The fitness-to-practice inquiry is investigating nine allegations of professional misconduct by Dr John Hanson in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth, including that he failed to diagnose Mr Horan's brain condition.
Mr Haran was first admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes on March 23, 2008, 12 days before he died, suffering from headaches, vomiting and vertigo. But he was discharged five days later on the basis the scan found "prominent ventricular spaces" in the brain, but it was "otherwise normal". When he was readmitted to the hospital on April 2, intern Dr Maha Abdul Azeez approached Dr Hanson looking for a more detailed report of the scan.
She told the inquiry that Dr Hanson (40), from Malahide in Dublin, said the young business graduate had enlarged brain ventricles that were "unexplained for his age". But in a meeting with Mr Haran's parents six months after he died, Dr Hanson claimed he had said he found the ventricles "grossly abnormal".
Dr Catriona Good, of Sussex University Hospital, England, told the hearing the MRI scan showed enlarged ventricles, but there were no signs of increased pressure inside the skull. She found no indication of a clinical emergency. "If a senior member of the clinical team had examined Dr Haran at that stage and spoke to Dr Hanson then I think a different outcome may have emerged," she added.
The hearing will continue on January 13.