Doctor faces negligence charges
A JUNIOR doctor was "negligent" in failing to pass a cardiac-arrest bleeper to the doctor who replaced him during a shift, a fitness to practise hearing was told yesterday.
Dr Onada Olajide Onada (40) denies a number of charges regarding alleged professional misconduct in the outpatients' ward at University College Hospital, Galway.
A cardiac-arrest bleeper is used to alert hospital staff that they are required to attend a certain patient urgently.
A Medical Council hearing was told yesterday that Dr Onada, on finishing his shift, failed to hand over a cardiac bleeper to the relevant follow-on doctor on the roster.
An earlier hearing was told the bleeper was later found "dumped" in the outpatients' ward of the hospital.
Dr James Keane, the medical manpower manager for UCH Galway, described the failure to hand over the bleeper as "negligent".
He rejected claims by Dr Onada, who is representing himself, that it was the hospital's responsibility to carry out a "risk assessment" regarding the bleepers in operation at the hospital.
Dr Keane said this was not necessary because there was a written protocol in operation as to how these bleepers were monitored.
"I find it extraordinary Dr Onada that we're having a discussion about what is a standard of care in a major cardiac unit -- and that you lack the insight to understand how critical it is to hand that pager on," Dr Keane said.
However, Dr Onada rejected Dr Keane's argument: "I want to deal with facts and not assertions by Dr Keane that doctors should hand these over," he said. "Where's the evidence? We're just going around in circles."
Dr Onada told a disciplinary meeting held to discuss the matter in the hospital that he left the bleeper with his secretary.
Angela Ronan, the hospital switchboard supervisor, yesterday explained how bleepers were used. She said when the switchboard operator received a call from a ward they alerted the relevant personnel by stating "cardiac arrest" on the bleepers and direct them to the patient. She said the beep "goes into a very rapid tone" and the relevant medical staff all got the message at the same time.
Dr Onada also faces allegations of harassment and inappropriate or intimidating verbal, email or SMS communications, with up to four female colleagues, while working at the hospital as a senior house officer from August 2010 to January 2011.
Dr Onada was dismissed from the hospital on March 21, 2011 following a series of disciplinary meetings.
The inquiry is due to resume today.