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Surgeon in botched baby op to return to work at the Royal Bolton Hospital

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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A surgeon who removed a baby’s bladder by mistake at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in 2008 is to return to work at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Pierina Kapur, cut out 90% of the seven week old baby girl’s bladder as she mistook the organ for a hernia during what should have been a straightforward operation. She then sewed up the remainder of the bladder without realising the blunder she had made.
Her error only came to light when the baby was taken into surgery suffering with acute kidney failure and other surgeons noticed that both of the baby’s ureters had been damaged. The baby’s hernia protruding through the muscle wall had also been left intact.
The baby, who is now 2 years old, was left needing a catheter for life and future medical treatment for ‘irreparable damage’. She has since undergone further surgery as a result of Miss Kapur’s blunder and has suffered from repeated infections.
Miss Kapur was initially allowed to continue working at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the incident and also worked as a visiting Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital. However, in March 2009, further conditions were imposed upon her and she was only allowed to work under supervision.
Following a subsequent investigation by the General Medical Council in March 2010, it was decided that Miss Kapur’s actions amounted to misconduct and stricter conditions were imposed on her including a higher level of supervision. She stopped working at the Royal Bolton Hospital at this time.
The General Medical Council has now reviewed Miss Kapur’s case. The panel heard that staff supervising her at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital are happy with the progress she has made to date. She was therefore allowed to return to unsupervised practice.
The GMC decided that Miss Kapur had addressed any concerns and that she no longer presents a risk to patients. They stated that her fitness to practise was no longer impaired by her previous misconduct.
The conditions previously imposed on her, which were due to expire in April 2010, were lifted with immediate effect.
The hearing heard that Miss Kapur will have a phased return to work at the Royal Bolton Hospital with ‘appropriate safeguards’ in place. If you have been injured by a surgical accident speak to a specialist solicitor for advice and assistance in pursuing a claim for the appropriate compensation, call us on: 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you. 
By clinical negligence specialist, Katie Nolan