Sunday 22 April 2018

I couldn't have saved woman's life, consultant tells hearing

Edel O'Connell

A WOMAN who died five days after being admitted to hospital would not have been saved if her consultant had intervened sooner, a misconduct hearing was told yesterday.

Colette Donohoe (54) from Derry Road, Crumlin, Dublin, died on August 22, 2006 at St James's Hospital of organ failure, sepsis and severe infectious colitis. Her family claims there was negligence in her treatment.

The consultant surgeon in charge of her care, Javaid Ahmad Butt (52), is accused of five counts of professional misconduct, including failing to apply an adequate standard of judgment and competence in her treatment.

He gave evidence yesterday at a fitness to practise inquiry.

The hearing was told Ms Donohoe was not sent for a CT scan until the day she died, despite one being recommended on the day of her admission to St James's five days earlier.

She was seen by Mr Butt on Friday, August 17, who suspected she had a partial bowel obstruction, but was not seen by him again until August 20, at which stage she began to deteriorate rapidly. There were no medical notes recorded in relation to Ms Donohoe over the weekend of her hospital stay by Mr Butt's on-call team.

Mr Butt claimed he had no reason to be concerned about Ms Donohoe's welfare as she had been showing signs of improvement. He said nobody had contacted him over the weekend to raise any concerns.

He said a post-mortem conducted following Ms Donohoe's death revealed the presence of a severe infection of the colon, the likes of which he had never seen before.

Mr Butt argued that even if he had intervened and operated sooner he would not have discovered this infection, which ultimately led to her death.


Ms Donohoe's family said they had observed a significant deterioration in her condition over the course of the weekend but had received no information from medical staff.

The family said they had been reassured by Dr Butt that Ms Donohoe would have to undergo a routine operation from which she would make a full recovery. The surgeon denied the allegations of professional misconduct, but expressed his condolences to the family.

The hearing will conclude on January 17.

Irish Independent

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