Doctor was ‘aggressive’ towards patient, inquiry hears

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed failed to insert IV line correctly, causing pain

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed’s medical registration is suspended. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed’s medical registration is suspended. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

A doctor who is accused of poor professional performance was aggressive and intimidating towards one patient and accidentally caused a burn injury to another, a Medical Council inquiry has heard.

Colleagues also expressed concern about the ability of Dr Omar Hassan Khalafalla Mohamed, whose medical registration is now suspended, to perform his duties soon after he started, the inquiry heard.

The surgical senior house officer faces allegations over incidents which occurred while he worked at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, Mayo General Hospital and University Hospital Galway. Dr Hassan denies the allegations.

The inquiry heard that, on September 24th, 2012, while working at Portlaoise, he made a number of unsuccessful attempts to insert an IV line into a patient – a woman referred to as AK – causing her pain.

The woman said, after several attempts, she knew the line was not in her arm correctly and asked Dr Hassan to not continue. She became distressed because he continued his attempts.

She said Dr Hassan went away but then returned and again tried to insert the needle, at which point she started to cry. A nurse comforted her, but then left the room leaving her and Dr Hassan alone.

The woman told the inquiry she was “taken aback” when Dr Hassan told her not to make a complaint about him or his work.

She said Dr Hassan had been “a bit aggressive towards me. I felt quite intimidated.”

Dr Hassan on Tuesday apologised for the pain she had felt, and said the main objective was to provide better care.

The woman asked Dr Hassan whether he remembered telling her not to make a complaint. “I do not recall saying that,” he told her.

Burn

A nurse working in Portlaoise, Wilma Walsh, told the inquiry of a September 17th, 2012 incident in an operating theatre. During surgery, she said, Dr Hassan stepped on a diathermy pedal – used to bind tissue and stop bleeding – when it was not in use, causing a small burn injury to the patient’s abdomen.

The patient addressed the inquiry via telephone and said she only learned of the burn incident after her sister read her medical notes. They then examined the patient’s dressings and realised that one of the bandages was for the burn.

Dr Hassan on Tuesday apologised to the patient for the incident.

Eadaoin Cooke, of the human resources department at the Portlaoise hospital, told the inquiry a number of Dr Hassan’s colleagues raised concerns about him less than two weeks after he took up his post on July 9th, 2012.

On foot of those concerns, a decision was made to take him off the night shifts in which he covered that department. A decision was then made in October to relieve Dr Hassan of all his clinical duties, Ms Cooke said.

“In this case, the issues arose out of clinical shortfalls with Dr Hassan’s in performance of his duties,” Ms Cooke said, adding there were some “personal misunderstandings as well”.

The inquiry continues.