A doctor who put a woman and her unborn baby “at risk” by failing to perform an emergency caesarean has been allowed to keep working in the profession.
Keith Suttie was working as a speciality doctor at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee in November 2017 when he was found to have “failed to respond to the unfolding emergency”.
The obstetrics and gynaecology doctor had consulted with the patient but failed to manage an urgent delivery after being advised of fetal bradycardia – an irregular heartbeat – and arrangements being in place for an emergency C-section.
Dr Suttie was found to have not communicated with the anaesthetist to confirm the best way to speed up the process of delivery, not changed the delivery from category 2 to category 1 and failed to scrub up and perform the C-section himself.
The baby was delivered in “very poor condition” and had to be taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit due to oxygen flow to the brain being restricted.
A report by Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service detailed that Dr Suttie “feels intense regret and responsibility for his actions” and that the risk of repetition is “highly unlikely”.
It was found that he has worked for six years since the incident with no problems and the “full support of his department”.
The Tribunal considered that there was “no allegation, and no evidence, of chosen behaviour which showed a deliberate choice on the part of Dr Suttie or any moral failing”.
MPTS tribunal chair, Miss Annie Hockaday, added: “The Tribunal has found that this was an isolated episode in an otherwise unblemished career. No complaint has been raised against him since.
“Dr Suttie has well-developed insight into his misconduct; he has acknowledged that his mistake was serious and accepted responsibility for it.
“Dr Suttie has made a genuine expression of regret and apologised, has no previous adverse findings of fitness to practice, and the risk of repetition is highly unlikely. He fully understands that his conduct on November 10, 2017 was a departure from the standards expected of him and that it had a serious impact on Patient A, Baby C, and their family.
“A warning is not necessary to ensure Dr Suttie understands the seriousness of his misconduct.”
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