Surgeon cleared of professional misconduct

A surgeon has been cleared by a Medical Council inquiry into the treatment of a woman who died following three operations at Ennis General Hospital.

Martina Sherlock, 39, a mother of 13 from Childers Rd, Ennis, Co Clare, died on Dec 10, 2008.

At the end of a four-day fitness for practise inquiry, Syed Naqvi, the consultant surgeon who carried out the procedures, was cleared of 11 allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.

Ms Sherlock first attended the Ennis hospital in Jun 2008 complaining of abdominal pain. She was 17 weeks’ pregnant.

Doctors believed she was suffering from an inflammation of the gallbladder.

She lost her baby through miscarriage due to blood poisoning on Jul 15, and appendicitis was not diagnosed until November, when a CT scan was carried out at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.

Ms Sherlock had three operations at the Ennis hospital on Nov 22, Dec 3, and Dec 8 to remove the appendix mass.

She was transferred to the Mid-Western on Dec 9 and died there on Dec 10.

Dr Naqvi, who qualified in Pakistan, has worked in Ireland since 1985 and is an Irish citizen. When he began work at Ennis hospital in 2004, he was one of three general surgeons but, by 2008, he was its only general surgeon.

Council for Dr Naqvi, Eileen Barrington, said it was clear from testimonials that Dr Naqvi was a good doctor.

“He is a doctor who gave up his private practice... in favour of his public patients because he was concerned for them and because he is the only full-time surgeon there,” said Ms Barrington.

After the verdict was announced yesterday, Dr Naqvi indicated that he was relieved at the outcome.

Ms Sherlock’s husband, James Sherlock, said he was disappointed with the council’s decision but had to respect it.

“I have to move on from here and look after the kids as good as I can,” said Mr Sherlock.

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