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Child left 'in pain and drooling after wrong operation'

AN INQUIRY will resume today against a senior doctor over a wrong operation being carried out on a child.

A Medical Council inquiry is examining allegations against Professor Martin Corbally in a case where the wrong operation was performed on a child at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin in 2010.

Dr Corbally was also at the centre of controversy when a young boy had the wrong kidney removed at the hospital in 2008.

Now he faces a fitness-to-practise inquiry over an incorrect operation carried out on the mouth of a two-year-old girl.

The girl received an incision to the skin under her tongue, instead of the intended incision to the skin behind her upper lip.

Both procedures were carried out by colleagues of Prof Corbally while the children were in his care.

The toddler's mother told the Medical Council inquiry that she had raised concerns with staff at Our Lady's Children's Hospital as to whether they were carrying out the correct procedure on her daughter on April 30, 2010.

The girl's mother told how her daughter was on medication for the pain, drooled constantly and her "tongue was hanging out of her mouth" following the procedures.

She said her daughter was now "well" and in school.



specialist

Dr Corbally, who was a consultant paediatric surgeon at the Crumlin hospital in 2010, faced allegations before a Medical Council fitness-to-practise committee.

He watched the proceedings via video link from Bahrain, where is helping at the King Hamad University Hospital.

The allegations include failing adequately to communicate when he delegated the operation to Dr Farhan Tareen, a fourth-year surgical registrar.

Dr Tareen said Dr Corbally told him to go to the theatre, and do the "tongue tie" -- and the professor agreed this had happened.

A number of allegations against Dr Tareen were withdrawn.

Dr Corbally previously appeared before the Medical Council, along with a specialist surgical registrar, after a six-year-old boy under his care had the wrong kidney removed at Crumlin in 2008.

The inquiry was halted in September 2010 with no findings made.

Yesterday's hearing was told that a young girl, referred to as 'Baby X', was admitted for a day procedure after a visit to Dr Corbally's private rooms.

The child's mother told how she had raised concerns after staff mentioned a 'tongue tie' operation.

The inquiry heard the young girl required an operation to cut an upper labial frenulum -- the bridge of skin that extends from front teeth to upper lip.

It was causing her mouth ulcers and pushing her front teeth apart.

Instead, a lingual frenulum, commonly known as a 'tongue tie release', was carried out.

This involves cutting the skin between the tongue and the floor of the mouth.



policy

The inquiry heard the computer system used at the hospital to create the theatre list had only one code -- 'tongue tie release' -- for these operations.

There was an option to include additional information, but this wasn't used by the administrator in this case.

Eileen Barrington, for Professor Corbally, said he did not accept it amounted to professional misconduct. She said various people did not communicate matters as per hospital policy.

The inquiry continues today.

hnews@herald.ie


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