Wednesday 7 December 2016

Doctor tells fitness-to-practice inquiry he was 'delighted' when he saw baby's vital signs improving

Sam Griffin

Published 13/05/2015 | 12:38

Mohammad Ilyas Khan outside the fitness to practice enquiry at Kingram House
Mohammad Ilyas Khan outside the fitness to practice enquiry at Kingram House

A DOCTOR facing serious allegations of poor professional performance has defended the level of care he provided to a baby who was born following an emergency caesarean section.

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Dr Mohammad Ilyas Khan told a Medical Council fitness to practice inquiry that he was “delighted” when he saw the baby’s vital signs improving after he and his team battled to save the baby’s life.

The allegations relate to ‘Patient BT’, since diagnosed with cerebral palsy, who was born at South Tipperary Hospital on June 15 where Dr Khan was working as a locum consultant paediatrician.

Among seven allegations, It is alleged Dr Khan failed to put in place an adequate treatment plan after the baby was diagnosed with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) - a condition where the brain receives an insufficient level of blood and oxygen - shortly after birth.

Research has shown that specialist treatment, known as hypothermic treatment or “cooling”, has proven to reduce the risk of death or disability in cases where HIE is diagnosed.

It is alleged Dr Khan failed in his duty by not arranging for this treatment to be carried out.

Dr Khan this morning explained how he arrived into the labour ward around six minutes after the baby had been born and said the condition of ‘Patient BT’ was “critical”. He said the baby was “blue, lifeless and limp”.

He explained how he took over the job of resuscitating the baby as he was not breathing. He said he recalled feeling “delighted” as the baby’s vital signs improved after he was transferred to an intensive care unit in the hospital following successful resuscitation.

Asked about a discussion he had with the on-call registrar Dr Amin Abdelrahim, who was driving to the hospital after Dr Khan had left for the night, he said at that time the baby’s improving condition led him to believe he did not require the “cooling” treatment.

“What information i was hearing at that time, what information Dr Amin gave me at the time, the baby was not for cooling,” he said under questioning from Eugene Gleeson SC, representing the father-of-four from Pakistan.

He was also questioned about the prescription of the anti-seizure drug phenobarbital.

Dr Khan agreed his “habitual practice” would be to prescribed this drug in the event of seizing but said he would never do so without first examining the patient. He said it had not been his decision to prescribe the drug.

The inquiry also heard that Dr Khan spoke with the baby’s parents shortly after birth. He said he “explained in great detail” to the child’s father and mother the condition of the baby.

The case continues.

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