Doctor ‘did not have a clue’ claims nurse

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A nurse had to intervene to stop a doctor from inserting a line into an elderly patient at Portlaoise hospital with a scalpel.

The nurse also told a Medical Council fitness-to-practise inquiry Dr Vincent Osunkwo last week that she did not believe he was a doctor.

The nurse who was, unnamed by direction of the inquiry, said the doctor looked at her “blankly” when the elderly woman who had been vomiting blood arrived in the Hospital’s A&E, Portlaoise, on March 9, 2009.

“The lady was crying and he was about to cut into a vein,” the nurse told the inquiry. “I said, ‘Jesus what are you doing?’ I took it out of his hand and put it down.”

The nurse said sDr Osunkwo “did not seem to have a clue” how to treat a patient.

“I did not honestly believe that was a doctor that night,” she told the inquiry.

Dr Osunkwo worked at the Portlaoise hospital from February to April 2009. The Nigerian-qualified doctor was taken off clinical duty and allowed only to shadow other doctors.

He returned to Nigeria and was not at his hearing hearing. He accused the Medical Council of “borderline character assassination” via e-mail.

It is also alleged that he read a spinal X-ray upside down; could not diagnose a fungal nail infection; and made an too many attempts to take a blood sample.

Retired consultant surgeon Walter Conway, said Dr Ounkwo was “deficient in many areas” and did not have the “basic medical knowledge even a medical student should know”.

Expert witness and consultant surgeon Anthony Peel said that Dr Osunkwo did not display the standard of competence expected by examining a C spine X-ray while holding it upside down.

Mr Peel said he was “almost speechless” in relation to the allegation that Dr Osunkwo asked a nurse if a patient’s pulse rate of 165 beats a minute was high.

The Medical Council was considering its verdict at the time of going to press.




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