Care plan for mother was ‘not clear’

The care plan for a mother whose baby boy died less than two days after his birth was “not clear”, an inquiry heard yesterday.

Consultant obstetrician Dr Salah Aziz Ahmed faces allegations at a Medical Council Fitness to Practise Inquiry of poor professional performance and professional misconduct relating to three women who gave birth at Cavan General Hospital between November 2012 and April 2014.

The inquiry has heard details involving one of the patients, a 37-year-old woman, referred to as Patient One, whose baby boy passed away 32 hours after he was born on the night of November 22, 2012.

Yesterday, Dr Aziz said that when Patient One was admitted to hospital on November 19, 2012 for an induction, “the care plan wasn’t clear”.

He said a registrar administered a prostaglandin gel, used to induce labour, that day but there did not appear to be a clear care plan made at that time by a consultant.

Dr Aziz said that on the morning of November 22, when he met with Patient One for the first time, she was confused and unclear about whether she was going to continue with the induction, which had gone on for several days, or whether she would be having a caesarean section that day.

Dr Aziz described the atmosphere in Patient One’s room, when he returned to hospital that night at 10.45pm, after Patient One had been labouring for a number of hours. He said the situation was a little stressful at that time, because he and his colleagues knew they might have to perform a caesarean section, but that there was an issue with securing a second theatre.

Expert witness Dr Michael O’Hare, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry gave evidence on behalf of the doctor.

Dr O’Hare said his hospital oversees 1,800-2,000 deliveries each year, comparable to the number of births that take place in Cavan annually.

It is alleged that Dr Aziz failed to proceed to a caesarean section in a timely manner in relation to Patient One, and that he engaged in prolonged attempts at an instrumental vaginal delivery in inappropriate circumstances.

During his evidence, Eileen Barrington, counsel for Dr Aziz, asked Dr O’Hare whether it was acceptable for Dr Aziz to apply the forceps a second time, irrespective of theatre availability.

“I think if you accept that a second attempt at forceps was acceptable, I believe it was reasonable to proceed with that attempt,” Dr O’Hare said.

Under cross-examination by Lorna Lynch, acting on behalf of the Medical Council, Dr O’Hare clarified: “Having been unsuccessful with the first attempt of the forceps, it was not unreasonable to apply the forceps.”

The inquiry will reconvene on Monday.


Lifestyle

On June 26, we sat outside the first bar to open here since lockdown began on March 15. There are only two bars in the valley. Cafes serve drinks, but these are bar-bars, the kind that stay open after midnight.Damien Enright: Fruit trees are laden with their bounty as we prepare to leave

In October 1986, 52 mute swans, living peacefully on the Tolka in Dublin, were drenched in diesel oil accidentally released into the river. Swan-catchers went into action; only one bird died before they reached it.Richard Collins: Human crisis will offer chance for wild animal research

It's a typically Irish summer’s day of sunshine and occasional showers. Travel restrictions have been eased again and we venture forth to one of nature’s gems, Gougane Barra, deep in the mountains of West Cork.Donal Hickey: Gougane Barra has peace and wildness

When the ferryman pulls away from the pier and the salty spray of the sea hits your face the feeling of release from the mainland is deeply pleasurable. Your island awaits. Whether for a day trip or a holiday, the lure of the islands is as magnetic as ever.The Islands of Ireland: The lure of the less-visited

More From The Irish Examiner