Doctor ‘unaware of protocols on child abuse’

A doctor appeared to be unaware of basic protocols regarding cases of suspected child abuse, a disciplinary inquiry heard yesterday.

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed, who is before a Medical Council inquiry, also allegedly failed to assist in the resuscitation of an elderly patient who was vomiting blood.

He denies all the allegations made against him.

Dr Hassan was employed as an orthopaedic senior house officer at University Hospital Galway from January 13, 2014, for six months. He was placed on administrative leave on February 21, 2014, following concerns from a number of colleagues regarding patient safety.

Orthopaedic consultant Mutaz Jadaan, who worked with Dr Hassan in Galway in early 2014, yesterday expressed his concern that Dr Hassan seemingly left a child with a single arm fracture in the emergency department for two to three hours.

Dr Jadaan said he had stressed to Dr Hassan the importance of assessing children straight away, so a non-accidental injury — a symptom of possible child abuse — can be ruled out.

Dr Jadaan told the inquiry Dr Hassan said that dealing with issues of potential child abuse was a matter for the paediatric team, not for them as orthopaedic surgeons.

“He had no knowledge of the importance of ruling it [non-accidental injury] out,” said Dr Jadaan.

Dr Hassan, whose medical registration was suspended in March 2015, said yesterday that he did not recall the exact details of the conversation with Dr Jadaan, and that he knew what a non-accidental injury was.

Dr Jadaan said: “I’ve never, ever had a concern about a doctor in the way I had concerns about you.”

The inquiry also began to cover Dr Hassan’s time at Mayo General Hospital, where he worked for six weeks, from November 2013 to January 2014.

He was removed from on-call duties at the start of December after concerns were raised regarding his alleged lack of assistance in the resuscitation of an elderly patient, who experienced an upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage, and was vomiting and passing blood.

Dr Hassan said he was involved in the care of the elderly patient, and queried why he was taken off call before he was given the chance to express his version of events. “I think it was an unfair decision,” said Dr Hassan. “I think it was an authoritarian decision.”


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