Page last updated at 20:19 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 21:19 UK

Doctor took gas and air on duty

Ormskirk Hospital
Dr Chahal persuaded four nurses at the hospital to inhale Entonox

A doctor, who admitted inhaling gas and air while on duty at a children's ward, told nurses it "created a floaty sensation", a panel has heard.

Dr Jonathan Chahal, 33, used the anaesthetic Entonox from a gas canister at Ormskirk District General Hospital.

Staff heard giggling coming from a resuscitation room and found him inhaling the substance, the General Medical Council (GMC) heard on Monday.

His fitness to practise will be debated during the three-week hearing.

GMC counsel Craig Sephton QC told the panel that Dr Chahal admitted using Entonox from a gas canister on four separate occasions.

'Cocaine traces'

The senior house officer paediatrician also persuaded four female nurses to inhale the gas, which is frequently administered in childbirth to alleviate pain.

Mr Sephton said: "He asked if they had ever tried it. He said it was fun and made you feel floaty."

He added that the effects of Entonox can alter the user's perception and can last up to 12 hours.

Dr Chahal denies taking cocaine between January and March 2008 last year, despite traces of the drug being allegedly found in hair samples during tests.

Each of the examining doctors also concluded Dr Chahal suffered from a medical condition - details of which were not disclosed in public.

Dr Chahal denies that the statements he made to the three doctors were misleading and dishonest.

The GMC argues his fitness to practise is impaired because of his misconduct and adverse physical or mental health.

The hearing continues.

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