Page last updated at 20:17 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Surgeon who removed baby's bladder guilty of misconduct

Pierina Kapur
Miss Kapur stopped twice during the operation to 'take stock'

A surgeon who mistakenly removed a baby's bladder instead of a hernia has been found guilty of misconduct by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The 18-month-old girl will have to use a catheter for life and is at risk of cancer because of the botched operation at Manchester Children's Hospital.

Pierina Kapur, 43, was supposed to take out a hernial sac but instead removed 90% of her bladder.

The baby's parents said they "respected" the GMC's decision.

We do now believe that Miss Kapur is truly sorry for the pain and suffering she has caused our daughter
Baby A's parents

Throughout the week-long hearing, Miss Kapur admitted her work throughout the operation on her young patient, known as Baby A, in October 2008 had been below standard but denied misconduct.

However, the GMC panel found that her misconduct during the young child's treatment "impaired her fitness to practise".

The GMC panel told her: "When you had arrived at the hospital and took the decision to examine Baby A you effectively took the lead in her care, albeit for a very short time.

"The panel has found that you did not take any adequate steps to arrange for an ultrasound scan of Baby A's abdomen and urinary tract.

Completely unaware

"Against that background, the panel does consider your misconduct to be sufficiently serious as to justify a finding of impairment in this case."

According to the GMC, Miss Kapur failed to correctly identify the muscle layers in the abdominal wall, recognise the anatomy in the baby's left side, identify the bladder and find the hernial sac.

During the operation Miss Kapur stopped twice and seemed to to reorientate herself to take stock of the situation.

Despite her uncertainty, she did not seek the help or opinion of a fellow consultant surgeon, the GMC said.

The hearing was told that after the operation Miss Kapur did not act when she realised the baby was not passing urine and was completely unaware she had removed the bladder instead of the hernia.

'Made accountable'

The mistakes were only uncovered during an emergency operation after the baby had become extremely poorly.

Baby A's parents said: "Our decision to involve the GMC in our daughter's case was to ensure appropriate steps were taken to ensure public safety.

"We feel that Miss Kapur has been made accountable for her actions.

"We respect the decision made by the GMC panel and do now believe that Miss Kapur is truly sorry for the pain and suffering she has caused our daughter.

"Without the hard work of the rest of the staff at Manchester Children's Hospital, our daughter would not be here today."

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