Procedure 'not caused' by notes error

Mon, Oct 1, 2012, 01:00

It was “completely inappropriate to suggest” an error made in the notes of a 2½-year-old patient who had an unnecessary tongue-tie operation amounted to poor professional performance, a Medical Council fitness-to-practise was told this morning.

Summing up on the last day of the case against Prof Martin Corbally, who was a paediatric surgeon at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin when the incident happened in 2010, senior counsel for the defendant Eileen Barrington said her client’s “slip of the pen” was not the cause of the tongue-tie operation.

His error would have been obvious to anyone reading it, she said.

It was the incorrect description of the operation on the theatre list, made by an unknown administrator, that caused the error.

In April 2010, Baby X from Co Meath had a tongue tie operation, a lingual frenulectomy releasing the fold of skin beneath her tongue when what she needed was an upper labial frenulectomy, to release the fold of skin attaching her upper lip to her gum.

Prof Corbally had delegated the procedure to a registrar.

Ms Barrington also said this morning the evidence given by the Medical Council’s expert witness, UK consultant paediatric surgeon Hugh Grant who believed her client’s actions amounted to poor professional performance, was not credible.

She claimed Mr Grant didn’t understand the system in Ireland, was not in a comparable position and also did not understand the facts of the case.

The inquiry committee is expected to deliver its decision tomorrow.