No restrictions on Newport baby death doc despite further errors
12:17pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A DOCTOR still making 'serious errors' seven years after she failed to spot a Newport baby girl's fatal condition can now work free of any restriction, a tribunal ruled.
Dr Salawati Abdul-Salam allowed nine-month-old Aleesha Evans to be discharged from the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, after telling her parents to give her Calpol for a viral infection.
The little girl was suffering from blood poisoning and died the next day.
A year earlier Colin Perriam, 66, died after Dr Abdul-Salam analysed six-month old blood samples, then wrongly diagnosed a ruptured ulcer as constipation.
The medic was suspended for just four months in March 2010 then allowed to return to work under a raft of conditions and has been subject to conditional registration ever since.
The panel however, have ruled her fitness to practise is no longer impaired, meaning she can return to work unrestricted because she no longer presents 'an unacceptable risk to patient safety'.
Her case was reviewed at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester in July, but the panel, chaired by Professor David Katz, ran out of time to make a ruling.
At the hearing last October a panel flagged up a number of clinical errors made while she was working at Ipswich Hospital but ruled she presented 'no undue risk to patients.'
During her latest review hearing, which began two months ago, the panel was told of two more blunders over the past year.
One man suffered an accidental overdose of the painkiller Oramorph after Dr Abdul-Salam doubled his daily dose then sent him home without further advice, the hearing was told.
He was rushed to hospital by ambulance three days later after he was found 'unrousable' with signs of respiratory depression.
Giving evidence the medic described the incident as 'a small error with potentially big consequences.'
The most recent incident happened four months ago in May when an 89-year-old woman was taken to hospital the day after a fall in her garden.
Dr Abdul-Salam discharged the patient and told her to take painkillers, but her injury was later found to be a fractured neck.'It was an error of my judgement to discharge her without at least considering trauma orthopaedic assessment in this patient before I discharged,' said Dr Abdul-Salam.
The panel decided the incidents were not serious enough to warrant a fresh finding of impairment or to extend the doctor's conditions.
Her consultant supervisor, Dr David Hartin, told the panel he employed the doctor as the 'lesser risk' than leaving the A&E department short-staffed.
'Neither of these errors would have resulted in initiation of referral to the GMC and thus have only emerged into this context because of the on-going nature of the current proceedings.
'Thus, in the Panel's judgement, while they cannot and should not be disregarded, they are not intrinsically a repetition of past episodes.'
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