Baby ‘left close to death after doctor’s blunders’

The tribunal heard the incident took place at the Sick Kids hospital in 2011. Picture: Cate Gillon
The tribunal heard the incident took place at the Sick Kids hospital in 2011. Picture: Cate Gillon
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A 15-MONTH-OLD baby was left close to death after a series of blunders by a senior children’s doctor, a tribunal has heard.

Consultant Dr Kiran Patwardhan is alleged to have allowed a junior doctor to remove a breathing tube from the infant in an incident at the Sick Kids hospital in 2011 before making a series ofmistakes when things went wrong.

The medical professional, who had previously received an official warning for groping a nurse, had taken over care of the infant who had been suffering from scalds to the face and neck.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was yesterday told that a colleague stepped in and rescued the situation.

Dr Gale Pearson, a specialist in paediatric intensive care, told the hearing: “This situation reads as if it is completely chaotic and, were it not for the arrival of a doctor, the child would have died in my opinion.”

The Evening News previously revealed how Dr Patwardhan had been accused of behaving like he was “in a Carry On film” after touching a ward sister’s breasts and bottom during an incident in 2006 at Middlesbrough’s James Cook hospital.

He was later found guilty of sexually motivated behaviour.

Dr Patwardhan, who was appointed by NHS Lothian in 2009, has admitted to a string of errors relating to his treatment of three children in 2011 at the Edinburgh hospital.

The tribunal was told nurses raised concerns when Dr Patwardhan bungled the changing of a breathing tube on a five-year-old patient in June that year.

The child had Batten disease – a neuro-degenerative disorder usually fatal by late teens – and was suffering epileptic seizures.

Dr Patwardhan has also been criticised for his involvement in the transfer of a two-week-old baby with heart problems from Edinburgh to Glasgow for an operation in August 2011.

The infant’s condition started to deteriorate as the level of oxygen in the blood dropped rapidly minutes after leaving the hospital. Dr Patwardhan said he had come to the wrong conclusion about the cause, which was a problem with the breathing tube.

The hearing heard an experienced nurse was forced to take control of the situation.

Dr Pearson said: “I think it is seriously below the standard expected of a reasonably competent consultant in paediatric intensive care.”

The case continues.