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Discharged to Die: Doctor Under Fire for Ignoring Patient Symptoms

19

Discharging a patient too soon can be dangerous in more ways than one. Dr. Kamal Abusin is in the hot seat after discharging a patient complaining of stomach pain from Rotherham General Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Ward in the U.K. The woman, known as Patient C, later died of her condition.

Now that a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has reviewed the case, the woman’s daughter is still looking for answers. It’s a tragic story that shows why listening to patients tends to be the best medicine.

Coming in with Stomach Pains

Dr. Abusin was on staff in the A&E ward when Patient C came in complaining of stomach pain.

According to evidence presented to the tribunal, the woman’s daughter claims her mother was still in pain and needed a wheelchair when Dr. Abusin discharged her just two hours later. Patient C then went home only to return to the hospital with her daughter a couple days later.

Records show that when she went back to the hospital, she received a laparotomy and was found to have an incurable ischaemic small bowel, leading to her death on October 10, 2016.

For his part, Dr. Abusin admitted to several charges, including failing to evaluate the patient’s symptoms, failing to undertake proper investigations, and failing to admit the patient.

Abusin’s counsel, Mary O’Rourke, claimed the doctor told the patient to come back to the hospital or call their GP if her pain continued, but the daughter denies this.

O’Rourke argued that Abusin spent more time with Patient C than her daughter claimed and that the only reason the patient needed a wheelchair was because she was “drowsy” and “unsteady” after being given morphine.

However, evidence shows that Dr. Abusin failed to document the patient’s condition in real-time. He later made retrospective entries that were incomplete.

Falsifying Records and Botched Procedures

The tribunal also accused Dr. Abusin of sending “dishonest” and “misleading” CVs to healthcare facilities with inaccurate information regarding his employment history in the National Health Service (NHS).

The doctor has a history of unprofessional conduct on the job. He removed confidential records related to 25 patients, including operation lists, correspondence, and photos, from Portsmouth Hospital Trust premises between May 2000 and July 2008.

He also stored patient information on his personal mobile device while working for two more trusts.

One of the biggest blunders of his career was back in 2008, when he operated on a patient looking to donate his kidney to his father. The 39-year-old patient suffered a heart attack, irreversible kidney failure, and needed 100 units of blood and fluids as a result of the operation.

He spent the next two years in the hospital recovering from the procedure as well as a year on dialysis. The procedure also left him needing his own kidney transplant, which he later got from his sister. The patient was eventually awarded 6.7 million euros in damages after the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust deemed the procedure was performed “not only negligently but to a degree, recklessly.”

The man was compensated to reflect a loss in future earnings due to his new condition. His lawyers argued in court that the procedure shortened his life expectancy by about 10 years and would need care for the rest of his life.

The prosecutor overseeing the case allowed Dr. Abusin to continue practicing medicine, recommending that he receive a warning instead of a full dismissal from the NHS.

Despite his checkered history, Dr. Abusin continues to practice, but another offense could take away his medical license for good.

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