Doctor 'refused to accept' GAA player had serious knee injury
A DOCTOR has been found guilty of poor professional performance after failing to spot a GAA player had torn her cruciate ligament in her knee.
The 21-year-old female footballer wrote a letter of complaint to the Medical Council over her "unsatisfactory" treatment at Kerry General Hospital at Tralee.
Subsequently, the GAA picked up the bill for an operation on her right knee as a private patient at a different hospital.
Dr Babatunde Bantale (42), originally from Nigeria, was the accident and emergency department registrar at Kerry General when she attended.
Dr Bantale, who gave evidence yesterday by phone from Australia where he now works, was found guilty of poor professional performance by the council's fitness-to-practise committee for failing to carry out an adequate examination after the footballer presented after midnight on June 30 last year.
It was proven that he had failed to diagnose a cruciate ligament tear in her right knee, refer her for a second opinion or to apply appropriate clinical judgment.
The footballer said she pointed out her knee was swollen and she could not place her full weight on it. In contrast, the doctor's notes recorded there was no pain, tenderness and she was able to fully move it.
The now 23-year-old, whose name was not given, complained that Dr Bantale told her there was nothing wrong with her leg and it was "all in my head".
The patient said there was no ligament examination carried out and he had insisted she was able to stand on the leg. She admitted becoming angry and he twice told her there was no other doctor available when she requested a second opinion.
"I went home then -- there was nothing else I could do," she said.
Her chart noted it was felt she had muscular skeletal pain and she was discharged.
She visited her GP and was privately referred for an MRI scan which found there was a tear to the cruciate ligament which required an operation.
Dr Bantale said he had worked for five years, mainly in A&Es, in Ireland without any negative reports and was "surprised at the allegations".
He stated there was no swelling, tenderness and, as he did not suspect a ligament injury, did not carry out the relevant tests. He said he had never told any patient it was "all in her head".
Dr Fergal Cummins, a consultant at the Mid West Regional Hospital, said he would expect a doctor to be suspicious of a cruciate ligament tear in these circumstances. He said it would be poor professional performance if standard ligament tests were not carried out.
The committee heard letters were sent to Dr Bantale at his address in Silver Springs in Cork about the complaint from September 2010 but it was August 2011 before he had any contact with the council.
The Medical Council will decide on what sanction will be applied at its next meeting.