Tuesday 25 April 2017

Obstetrician made 'astonishing' and 'shocking' errors on new mums: inquiry

Dr Andrea Hermann worked at Sligo General Hospital. Photo: Damien Eagers
Dr Andrea Hermann worked at Sligo General Hospital. Photo: Damien Eagers

Liz Farsaci

An obstetrician who made a number of serious errors when treating new mothers under her care has been found guilty of poor professional performance on 17 counts by a Medical Council inquiry.

Dr Andrea Hermann, who worked as an obstetric and gynaecology registrar at Sligo General Hospital in 2013 and 2014, was also found guilty of professional misconduct on three counts.

The poor professional performance findings relate to the care provided to six mothers between August 2013 and February 2014.

The Irish Medical Council inquiry also found that Dr Hermann failed to disclose to the hospital conditions imposed on her by the Irish Medical Council as a result of a previous disciplinary hearing. These conditions included a requirement to undergo retraining and supervision.

The inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to perform an elective caesarean section with due skill, making an abnormal wound incision on one mother.

'Patient A' said Dr Hermann told her she "cut her in the wrong place" during the procedure on December 4, 2013.

In relation to 'Patient B', the inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to obtain informed consent prior to carrying out a membrane sweep during an antenatal visit on August 15, 2013.

Shocked

In relation to 'Patient C', the inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to establish whether a contraceptive coil was still in place during a follow-up appointment. This patient later conceived and miscarried, the inquiry heard.

Dr Vimla Sharma, a consultant gynaecologist from Sligo General Hospital, previously told the inquiry that she was "shocked" when she learned that Dr Hermann had given a blood thinning drug to 'Patient D' who was already at risk of heavy bleeding.

The inquiry has found that Dr Hermann prescribed Innohep Tinzaparin to Patient D when it was not appropriate to do so.

Read more: 'Doctor said she cut me in wrong place', woman tells fitness-to-practise inquiry

The inquiry also found that Dr Hermann failed to display adequate surgical skill while closing up the uterus of 'Patient F' following a caesarean section.

Dr Hermann's former supervisor said she made "an astonishing mistake" while performing the section on 'Patient F'.

Dr Hermann left the lower half of a mother's uterus "in the breeze" after failing to suture the section properly, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist said Dr Heather Langan, from Sligo General Hospital.

Dr Hermann, who qualified in Germany, had worked in The Galway Clinic up to 2009. She was the subject of a previous Medical Council inquiry in 2009 and 2010.

The Medical Council had then recommended that she be suspended from June 2010 to June 2011 and that certain conditions be attached to her registration.

The report of the fitness- to-practise committee will now go to the full Medical Council. It will determine any sanction that may apply.

Irish Independent

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