Nurse on doctor’s rudeness: ‘scale of 1 to 10, I’d put him at 7 or 8’

Catriona Kenny recalled meeting at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny

Helen Cruise and her daughter Aneka Cruise during a Medical Council fitness-to-practise inquiry on Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Peter Van Geene at Kingram House, Dublin. Photograph: Collins

Helen Cruise and her daughter Aneka Cruise during a Medical Council fitness-to-practise inquiry on Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Peter Van Geene at Kingram House, Dublin. Photograph: Collins

 

A nurse has told a Medical Council inquiry how a doctor was rude to a woman who underwent a hysterectomy.

Catriona Kenny recalled a meeting which took place between Helen Cruise, her daughter Aneka Cruise and Peter Van Geene on August 31st, 2011 at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny.

On Tuesday, Helen Cruise told the inquiry Mr Van Geene became aggressive towards her and said she wanted money or to take litigation against him. She said Dr Van Geene became aggressive and slapped her on the hand with such force that her bruises turned white. She said he also slapped her on the knee and that she asked him repeatedly to stop.

Ms Cruise’s daughter, Aneka, also said Mr Van Geene said to her mother: “I know where this is going, litigation.”

Ms Cruise said he leaned towards her mother and hit her repeatedly on the hands and said “sue me, sue me, sue me” and then hit her on the knees.

She said a nurse was also in the room at the time but did not say or do anything while the incident occurred.

Ms Kenny said on Wednesday she had difficulty remembering the meeting. While Mr Van Geene was rude to Ms Cruise, she did not recall him hitting her.

She said she recalled Dr Van Geene saying the word “sue”, but had difficulty recalling the meeting. “I did not witness any untoward physical interaction between Mr Van Geene and Ms Cruise. He was rude to her and did not have a nice bedside manner. It was one of the most extreme examples of rudeness I had ever seen.”

When asked by the committee how rude he was, she replied: “On a scale of one to 10, I would put him at seven or eight.”

Ms Kenny said, in hindsight, she should have reported what happened in the meeting to a line manager.

The inquiry also heard from a consultant physician at Aut Even who said he thought Ms Cruise should be transferred to another hospital as her condition deteriorated after she underwent the hysterectomy.

Dr Mohammad Akram said he saw Ms Cruise on August 24th, 2011 because of concerns about her breathing. He prescribed antibiotics and ordered blood tests, but said when he saw her again on August 26th, her condition had deteriorated. “I was quite concerned,” he told the inquiry.

He said her lungs had filled with fluid and she was confused and agitated. He said he was concerned about her developing sepsis and said he thought Ms Cruise would get better treatment in another hospital.

Dr Akram said Ms Cruise was not his patient and was under the care of Mr Van Geene. He said he tried to contact Mr Van Geene, but never spoke to him when he was treating Ms Cruise.

Dr Akram recommended Ms Cruise should be transferred to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, but told the inquiry he did not know who made the decision for the transfer.

Wednesday was the third day of the inquiry into allegations of poor professional performance against Mr Van Geene, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, in the cases of four patients who had a hysterectomy at Aut Even Hospital in Kilkenny and allegedly suffered significant post-operative complications.

The inquiry is continuing.