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Medical Council

Doctor who made 'abnormal' wound on woman during caesarean found guilty of poor performance

Dr Andrea Hermann was also found guilty of professional misconduct.

AN OBSTETRICIAN WHO made a number of serious errors when treating new mothers under her care has been found guilty of poor professional performance on 17 counts by a Medical Council inquiry.

Dr Andrea Hermann, who worked as an obstetric and gynaecology registrar at Sligo General Hospital in 2013 and 2014, was also found guilty of professional misconduct on three counts.

The poor professional performance findings relate to the care provided to six mothers, who attended the hospital between August 2013 and February 2014.

The Irish Medical Council inquiry, in Dublin, also found that Dr Hermann failed to disclose to the hospital conditions imposed on her by the Irish Medical Council as a result of a previous disciplinary hearing. These conditions included a requirement to undergo retraining and supervision.

The inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to perform an elective caesarean section with due skill, making an abnormal wound incision on one mother.

At the start of the inquiry, which began on 28 November, this patient, identified as Patient A, said Dr Hermann told her she “cut her in the wrong place” during the procedure on 4 December 2013.

In relation to Patient B, a mother-of-three from Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, the inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to obtain informed consent prior to carrying out a membrane sweep during an antenatal visit on 15 August 2013.

In relation to Patient C, the inquiry found that Dr Hermann failed to establish whether a contraceptive coil was still in place during a follow-up appointment. This patient later conceived and miscarried, the inquiry heard.

On Wednesday 30 November, Dr Vimla Sharma, a consultant gynaecologist from Sligo General Hospital, told the inquiry that she was “shocked” when she learned that Dr Hermann had given a blood thinning drug to Patient D who was already at risk of heavy bleeding.

The inquiry has found that Dr Hermann prescribed Innohep Tinzaparin to Patient D when it was not appropriate to do so.

“I was shocked because Innohep is an anti-coagulant, which we avoid during labour,” Dr Sharma said. She explained that as Patient D had given birth multiple times, this put her at a greater risk of blood loss and that Innohep also placed her at risk for this.

Patient D later gave birth without any complications.


The inquiry also found that Dr Hermann failed to display adequate surgical skill while closing up the uterus after a C-section for Patient F.

Dr Hermann’s former supervisor said she made “an astonishing mistake” while performing the section on Patient F. Dr Hermann left the lower half of a mother’s uterus “in the breeze” after failing to suture the section properly, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Heather Langan, from Sligo General Hospital, said.

Dr Hermann, who qualified in Germany, had worked in The Galway Clinic up to 2009. She was the subject of a previous Medical Council inquiry in 2009 and 2010.

The Medical Council had then recommended that she be suspended from June 2010-June 2011 and that certain conditions be attached to her registration, such as agreeing to certain supervision, once she began work again.

Dr Michael Ryan, chair of the inquiry, today said Dr Hermann did not make a full and truthful disclosure about the conditions attached to her registration to Sligo General Hospital.

Dr Ryan said Dr Hermann did not comply with several of her conditions, and that there was a “serious lack of candour” on her part to Sligo, regarding her status with the Medical Council.

On the first day of the inquiry last month, Dr Hermann’s legal representative, Gerard O’Donnell, of O’Donnell Waters solicitors in Galway, read out a statement on her behalf, before going off record.

He said Dr Hermann admitted to the clinical allegations against her but did not admit to the allegations in relation to not disclosing the conditions attached to her registration to Sligo General Hospital.

Addressing the Medical Council in her statement, she said: “It feels to me you are disappointed that I’m still alive.”

The report of the fitness to practise committee will now go to the full Medical Council. It will determine any sanction that might apply.

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