Wednesday 13 December 2017

Doctor who had to amputate woman's toe 'after mistake' can't be contacted

Kevin Keane

A DOCTOR who was forced to amputate a woman's toe because he allegedly forgot to remove a tourniquet months earlier, faces the prospect of being struck off the medical register.

Dr Lech Kielpinski was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to give the woman's solicitors access to her medical records.

However, attempts to sue Dr Kielpinski for medical negligence have been frustrated because he has left the country and cannot be located in his native Poland, a Medical Council inquiry has heard.

Dr Kielpinski, who worked in the now closed Blackhall Medical Centre in Dublin's Smithfield, did not attend yesterday's hearing into his treatment of the woman.

Numerous witnesses gave evidence that attempts to locate him in both Ireland and Poland have failed.

The inquiry heard that the woman, who was identified only as Patient A, visited Dr Kielpinski in February 2012 following an accident at home where a heavy cast iron cooker fell on the large toe of her left foot.

Mr Ciaran Quinn, a solicitor who was working with McHale Muldoon solicitors at the time, told the inquiry that the woman completed a clinical negligence questionnaire outlining how Dr Kielpinski carried out treatment on her toe under anaesthetic. But afterwards he failed to remove a tourniquet, which prevents blood flow to the toe, the inquiry heard.

SOLICITORS

Mr Quinn said that when Dr Kielpinski realised what had happened he put the woman on various medications but on April 17, 2012, her toe had to be amputated.

Following this, the woman gave instructions to McHale Muldoon solicitors to sue Dr Kielpinski, but because the firm has been unable to get the woman's medical records, it cannot proceed with the case.

The inquiry heard from a number of Medical Council employees that Dr Kielpinski is now believed to be living in Poland but efforts to contact him by phone, letter and email have been unsuccessful.

The premises where he was working is now a dental practice and Dr Kielpinski's former landlord told a Medical Council employee that he moved out in July 2012.

Ms Katie Dawson, a barrister representing the CEO of the Medical Council, which took the case against Dr Kielpinski said when a doctor withdraws his services, it does not release him from his ethical responsibilities to the patient.

She added the medical records should have been supplied and that the patient may have quite a serious claim.

The inquiry committee found the allegation against Dr Kielpinski was proven and that it constituted professional misconduct as it fell short of the conduct that could be expected of a doctor.

Their report and recommendation on what sanction to impose on Dr Kielpinski will now be forwarded to the board of the Medical Council for a final decision.

Medical Council guidelines on sanctions indicate that a practitioner found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to provide access to medical records can face removal from the register that permits a doctor to work in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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