Tuesday 25 October 2016

Doctor 'who failed to show he knew CPR' is found guilty by inquiry

Muthulingam Kasiraj demonstrated serious failings
Muthulingam Kasiraj demonstrated serious failings

A junior doctor has been found guilty of poor professional performance for failing to show he knew how to perform basic tasks such as CPR or medical examinations.

A Fitness to Practice Committee of the Irish Medical Council declared it was satisfied that Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj, also known as Dr Sripathy, failed to show he could interpret simple blood tests or that he understood the effects of some medications on the liver.

Neither did he show he had an adequate understanding of the common skin cancer, malignant melanoma.

He faced around 20 allegations about his ability.


Dr Sripathy, from India, was a senior house officer at St Lom-an's Psychiatric Hospital in Mullingar between July 2013 and January 2014, the period when he was working under the supervision of consultant psychiatrists.

"He was out of his depth," said Dr Paul Scully, who gave his opinion in evidence submitted to the hearing yesterday.

Dr Sripathy told the committee that, as far as he was concerned, he did not have to deal with medical issues and should be focused only on psychiatry.

He made a number of admissions, but said the errors found in letters he wrote to GPs about patients represented only a very small percentage of the 2,000 he wrote to doctors.

The hearing was previously told that he included the wrong dosage of medications on letters to patients' GPs.

He said his medical qualifications from Bulgaria had been accepted by the Medical Council.

Many of his shortcomings were outlined by his supervising psychiatrist at St Loman's, Dr Ciaran Corcoran, who said he had given him textbooks and spent hours seeking to get him to upgrade his medical knowledge, but he had consistently failed to upskill.

Dr Sripathy, who defended himself, criticised Dr Corcoran, saying: "He thinks I'm a quack."

Dr Scully, a consultant psychiatrist at St James's Hospital, was called as an expert witness. He said yesterday that he had heard the evidence of two consultant psychiatrists, including Dr Corcoran, who were supervising his work, and he was satisfied that Dr Sripathy had demonstrated serious failings.

His inability to perform a neurological examination on a patient was a serious failing as this was a basic task for a doctor, he said.

The inquiry heard allegations that Dr Sripathy did not show an understanding of how to manage a basic emergency, or show he had a basic knowledge of CPR or that he knew the difference between some branded and generic medications.

It was also stated that he showed a pattern of errors when writing doses of medications, though no patients were harmed.

Dr Corcoran told the committee earlier: "I've never seen that volume of errors from one doctor in all my years."

Dr Sripathy was later diagnosed with Anankastic Personality Disorder, which he claims affected his performance.

Dr Scully said, however, that he did not appear to have the disorder on the evidence he had heard.


Dr Sripathy's lack of understanding of what to do in a medical emergency when he was asked a question about responding to someone who had collapsed in a supermarket was "a serious failing" as this was basic medical knowledge, said Dr Scully.

Dr Sripathy also failed to demonstrate adequate concern about a patient reporting hearing voices when he sent a letter to the patient's GP.

Dr Scully said he was surprised that Dr Sripathy did not understand the effects drugs can have on the liver.

This raised serious questions about his medical education in Bulgaria, he added.

Dr Sripathy was found not guilty of professional misconduct.

A decision on sanction will be made at a later date. The committee heard yesterday that their duties included "protecting the public from the genially incompetent".

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