Sunday 21 January 2018

Doctor cleared in six out of seven claims on baby care

Obstetrician Dr Salah Aziz Ahmed. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Obstetrician Dr Salah Aziz Ahmed. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Liz Farsaci

An obstetrician at the heart of a lengthy fitness to practice inquiry over how he dealt with a number of baby deliveries has been found guilty of one count of poor professional performance.

Dr Salah Aziz Ahmed failed to decide that the delivery by emergency caesarian section of a baby - the son of a woman referred to as Patient C - was required, the Medical Council ruled.

However, the consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist was found not guilty of poor professional performance in relation to six other allegations.

He was cleared of professional misconduct on two counts.

Patient C, who had a very poor obstetric history, gave birth to a baby boy by emergency caesarian section on April 26, 2014.

He was born with no signs of life, and did not respond to resuscitation.

It was later discovered Patient C had suffered from her third placental abruption.

Referring to the failure to decide that immediate surgery was required, Mary Duff, chair of the inquiry committee, said it was satisfied this was a serious failure to meet the standards of competence that can be reasonably expected.

Sanctions will be determined at a later date by the Medical Council.

Counsel Eileen Barrington, for Dr Aziz, pointed out he admitted one allegation that was found to amount to poor professional performance.

She said a sanction should be on the lower end of the scale.

Ms Barrington said Dr Aziz "demonstrated insight into the criticisms made of him", adding there was no allegation that the outcome for Patient C's baby would have been any different had he been delivered earlier.

The inquiry examined the care Dr Aziz provided to three women, one whose baby died in-utero, one whose baby died two days after his birth and one whose baby was born in very poor condition.

Yesterday marked the 25th day of the inquiry, which began in November 2016.

It heard that Patient A gave birth to a baby boy by emergency caesarean section on November 22, 2012, but he died two days later.

The second patient, Deirdre Clarke - who waived her right to anonymity - also gave birth to a baby boy by emergency section, on June 5, 2013, after her uterus ruptured.

Her baby was born in very poor condition, although he made an eventual recovery.

On May 18, the inquiry committee found seven out of the 14 allegations against Dr Aziz in relation to these mothers to be proven as fact.

Regarding Patient A, the committee found that on November 22, 2012, while she was in labour, Dr Aziz instructed the administration of labour drug Syntocinon be increased from 90mls per hour at 9.40pm to 180mls per hour at 10.57pm in the presence of evidence of prior hyper-stimulation.

Syntocinon is used to progress labour, but can lead to hyper-stimulation of the uterus and extra strong contractions.

Dr Aziz also performed a surgical cut on Patient A in circumstances where it was not justified, and failed to catheterise her prior to attempting a caesarian section delivery.

Regarding the care Dr Aziz provided to Ms Clarke, the committee found that he directed that the administration of Syntocinon be increased at or around 6.05pm, while Ms Clarke was in labour.

Irish Independent

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