Paediatrician found guilty of misconduct

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 10 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1533
  1. Claudia Court
  1. BMJ.

    A hospital paediatrician in Britain who gave excessive doses of drugs, including sedatives, to at least 12 babies has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct. A hearing of the General Medical Council's professional conduct committee directed Dr Joyce Inyang not to practise for a year except in an NHS hospital under close supervision. The committee also ordered Dr Inyang to undergo a structured programme of retraining in pharmacology and therapeutics “to address the major deficiencies in [his] clinical knowledge and skills revealed during these proceedings.”

    Dr Inyang had been charged with prescribing and giving excessive doses of drugs, including diazepam, chlorpromazine, and metoclopramide, to various babies. The charge related to his work as a staff grade paediatrician at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport between August 1992 and April 1993.

    The committee heard that one 23 month old baby had been given almost seven times the maximum dose of diazepam within a short time. A second baby had been given nearly six times the maximum dose of diazepam, and other babies had been given “excessive” doses of chlorpromazine and metaclopramide. The drugs had been given when jejunal biopsies were performed on the babies.

    Three of the patients to whom Dr Inyang gave the excessive drug doses were said to have received these doses on two separate occasions. The hearing was told that none of the babies in question seemed to have suffered any permanent damage as a result of their treatment.

    The committee told Dr Inyang that it took “a very serious view of the evidence which [it had] heard of [his] practice when administering potentially harmful drugs to young patients.” Dr Inyang was ordered to inform any prospective employer of the conditions imposed on his registration. These also included sending the General Medical Council, at intervals during the year, a report from those supervising his work. A resumed hearing towards the end of the period of conditional registration will consider his case.

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