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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 21:58 GMT
Dentist guilty of serious misconduct
Karla Selley
Karla died while under anaesthetic
A dentist has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct after a five-year-old girl died as he operated on her to remove a milk tooth.

But Michael Lane - who in 2000 was acquitted of Karla Selley's manslaughter - was not struck off by the General Dental Council's professional conduct committee.

Karla's heart stopped at the Towngate Dental Practice in Leyland, Lancashire, in August 1999, while she was under general anaesthetic.

After the hearing, Karla's mother, Tracy Marsh, said: "I am happy he was found guilty. I am just not very happy that he has not been suspended.

"I think 12 months' suspension was what was needed."

Stony-faced

She added: "The committee have obviously taken into consideration that what he did was wrong but that does not bring Karla back."

Mr Lane, 43, remained stony-faced as the verdict was delivered, simply answering "thank you" to the panel.

Following the hearing Iain Cuthbertson, from the Medical Defence Union, said: "Mr Lane is relieved that this matter is now closed and would again like to extend his sympathies to the family of Karla."

Mr Lane had already admitted allowing Karla's mother to sign consent forms before speaking to her about the operation and failing to have a specialised assistant on hand during the operation to assist the anaesthetist.

High shock

It was also alleged he:

  • Failed to ensure that the anaesthetic machine was fitted with an oxygen failure warning system or an oxygen analyser.

  • Failed to ensure that an oximeter and electrocardiogram were connected to monitor Karla's heart-rate before she collapsed.

  • Administered an inappropriately high level of shock with a defibrillator.

  • Failed to give advance notice to Chorley and Ribble District Hospital that he was conducting a general anaesthetic operation.

    There was no evidence that Mr Lane directly contributed to Karla's death.

    He was cleared of charges that he failed to keep contemporaneous records, explore Karla's medical history or ensure her weight was taken before surgery.

    Despite also being cleared of Karla's manslaughter by Preston Crown Court in November 2000, the anaesthetist present at the operation, Dr George Vanner was struck off by the General Medical Council in July for his role in the tragedy.


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    See also:

    14 Nov 02 | England
    13 Nov 02 | England
    25 Jul 02 | England
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