Medic guilty on 17 counts

An obstetrician who made a number of serious errors when treating new mothers has been found guilty of poor professional performance on 17 counts by a Medical Council inquiry.

Andrea Hermann, who worked as an obstetric and gynaecology registrar at Sligo General Hospital in 2013 and 2014, was also found guilty of professional misconduct on three counts.

The poor professional performance findings relate to the care provided to six mothers who attended the hospital between August 2013 and February 2014.

The inquiry, in Dublin, also found she failed to disclose to the hospital conditions imposed on her by the council as a result of a previous disciplinary hearing. These conditions included a requirement to undergo retraining and supervision.

The inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to perform an elective caesarean section with due skill.

At the start of the inquiry, which began on November 28, this patient, identified as Patient A, said Dr Hermann told her she “cut her in the wrong place” during the procedure on December 4, 2013.

In relation to Patient B, a mother of three, the inquiry found Dr Hermann failed to obtain informed consent prior to carrying out a membrane sweep during an antenatal visit on August 15, 2013.

In relation to Patient C, the inquiry found Dr Hermann failed to establish whether a contraceptive coil was still in place during a follow-up appointment. This patient later conceived and miscarried, the inquiry heard.

On November 30, Vimla Sharma, a consultant gynaecologist from Sligo General Hospital, told the inquiry she was “shocked” when she learned Dr Hermann had given a blood-thinning drug to Patient D, who was already at risk of heavy bleeding.

The inquiry has found that Dr Hermann prescribed Innohep Tinzaparin to Patient D when it was not appropriate to do so.

Patient D later gave birth without any complications.

The inquiry also found that Dr Hermann failed to display adequate surgical skill while closing up the uterus after a C-section for Patient F.

Dr Hermann’s former supervisor said she made “an astonishing mistake” while performing the section on Patient F. Dr Hermann left the lower half of a mother’s uterus “in the breeze” after failing to suture the section properly, said consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Heather Langan, from Sligo General Hospital.

The report of the fitness to practise committee will now go to the full Medical Council. It will determine any sanction that might apply.


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