Doctor appeared unaware of basic child abuse protocols, inquiry told

Wednesday 13 January 2016 23.42
Concern was expressed that Dr Hassan seemingly left a young child with a single arm fracture in an ED for two to three hours
Concern was expressed that Dr Hassan seemingly left a young child with a single arm fracture in an ED for two to three hours

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

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

Dr Hassan was employed as an orthopaedic Senior House Officer at University Hospital Galway for six months from 13 January 2014.

However, he was placed on administrative leave on 21 February 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, expressed his concern at the inquiry that Dr Hassan seemingly left a young child with a single arm fracture in A&E for two to three hours.

When Mr Jadaan learned of the delay, he stressed to Dr Hassan the importance of assessing children straight away, so that a non-accidental injury (NAI) - a symptom of possible child abuse - can be ruled out.

"He had no knowledge of the importance of ruling it (NAIs) out," Mr Jadaan told the inquiry, which began last week.

Dr Jadaan said he would be very worried if a senior house officer, such as Dr Hassan, was not aware of the importance of such issues, as the implications of missing a non-accidental injury in a child can be "catastrophic".

He added that, in this case, he was not implying that the child had an NAI, but that he wanted to stress the importance of assessing children with Dr Hassan.

Mr Jadaan also added that it would not be the responsibility of an SHO to deal with an NAI case, but it would be the responsibility of an SHO to assess a child and flag any concerns with senior colleagues.

Dr Hassan, whose medical registration was suspended since March 2015, told the inquiry he did not recall the exact details of the conversation with Mr Jadaan, and that he knew what an NAI was.

The inquiry today also began to cover Dr Hassan's time at Mayo General Hospital, where he was hired for a six-week period from November 2013 until January 2014.

Dr Hassan was removed from his on call duties in the beginning 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.

Consultant surgeon Kevin Barry, who works at Mayo General Hospital, told the inquiry that a patient suffering from an upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage is a "basic medical scenario" that an SHO should know how to manage.

Dr Hassan asserted that 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.

Earlier, the legal counsel for the Medical Council asked if Dr Hassan could confirm whether or not he was recording the hearing, as the only recording permitted is the official one by the stenographer.

Dr Hassan denied that he was recording the proceedings.

Dr Hassan faces a number of allegations relating to time he spent working at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, Mayo General Hospital and University Hospital Galway.

He denies the allegations.