Tuesday 23 January 2018

Doctor who didn't know simple CPR found guilty of poor performance

Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj, who is known also as Dr Sripathy, at the Medical Council in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj, who is known also as Dr Sripathy, at the Medical Council in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Alan O'Keeffe

A junior doctor who failed to show he knew what to do in a medical emergency was found guilty of poor professional performance yesterday.

A Fitness to Practise Committee of the Irish Medical Council declared it was satisfied that Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj, also known as Dr Sripathy, was unable to interpret simple blood tests or that he understood the effects of some medications on the liver.

Nor did he show he understood the common skin cancer malignant melanoma.

He faced 24 allegations over his abilities and was found to be guilty of poor professional performance, but not guilty of medical misconduct, at the hearing in Dublin. The council will decide what sanctions to impose at a later date.

The Indian national worked as a senior house officer at St Loman's Psychiatric Hospital in Mullingar between July 2013 and January 2014.

"He was out of his depth," said medical expert Dr Paul Scully, who gave his opinion yesterday of evidence submitted to the hearing.

Dr Sripathy told the committee that as far as he was concerned, he did not have to deal with medical issues and should be focused only on psychiatry.

He made a number of admissions regarding mistakes, but said the errors found in letters he wrote to GPs about patients represented only a very small percentage of the 2,000 documents he wrote to doctors.

He said his medical qualifications gained in Bulgaria had been accepted by the Medical Council.

Many of his shortcomings were outlined by his supervising psychiatrist at St Loman's, Dr Ciarán Corcoran. He stated that he had given him textbooks and spent hours trying to get him to upgrade his medical knowledge but Dr Sripathy had consistently failed to upskill.

Dr Sripathy, who defended himself, criticised Dr Corcoran and stated: "He thinks I'm a quack."

Dr Scully, consultant psychiatrist at St James's Hospital, called as an expert witness, said yesterday Dr Sripathy had demonstrated serious failings in a number of areas.

His inability to perform a neurological examination on a patient was a serious failing as this was a basic task, he said.

The inquiry heard allegations that Dr Sirpathy did not display a basic knowledge of CPR, or that he knew the difference between some branded and generic medications.

It is also stated he showed a pattern of errors when writing up doses of medications, although no patients were actually harmed.

Dr Corcoran told the hearing last week: "I've never seen that volume of errors from one doctor in all my years."

Dr Sripathy's lack of understanding of what to do in a medical emergency when he was asked what to do if someone collapsed in a supermarket was "a serious failing", he said.

Dr Sripathy also did not demonstrate adequate concern about a patient reporting hearing voices when he sent a letter to the patient's GP.

Dr Scully said he was surprised that Dr Sripathy did not understand the effects drugs can have on the liver and it raised serious questions about his medical education in Bulgaria.

Lawyer JP McDowell, appearing for the chief executive of the Medical Council, told the committee their duties included "protecting the public from the genially incompetent".

Irish Independent

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