Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dr Samy Nassief

  The authorities seem to be very loath to take action against incompetent Egyptian surgeon Dr Samy Nassief, despite the harm he has done.  A reluctance to criticize "overseas trained" doctors is probably involved.  I reproduce below some press reports about him but immediately below I reproduce an email from a relative of one of his victims.  There are also a variety of comments about him here.  It would seem that he has a good bedside manner but minimal surgical skills  -- JR

The email:

The matter is before the HCCC hearing in Sydney next week. The Government and medical system have been very uncooperative with regard to stopping the doctor from practicing. What makes me furious is this surgeon has caused other ladies to suffer. Is there any way we can expose further  Dr Samy Nassief or find the women who have made comment so that other people are not hurt?

What the ladies describe as covers ups and unable to receive their medical information is all true. It has taken us 4 years, much heart ache to expose him and stop him from his poor workmanship.

However it is extremely hard to take the Government and health profession on. If you could at all help I would be most appreciative. I can’t help my sister, but if it saves another person’s life than it will be worth it. Please if we can contact the other women -- as you can understand time is of importance as the hearing is next Tuesday I need your urgent action. Many thanks

Incompetent Egyptian surgeon kills NSW woman

March 31, 2011

A COMPETENT surgeon should have known the reason for Heidi Clarke-Lewis' massive blood loss and been able to do something about it, an inquest into her death was told yesterday.

Professor Andrew Korda told the inquest a sharp medical tool known as a trocar had struck the 29-year-old's spine during an operation to remove an ectopic pregnancy, causing the fit, healthy patient to bleed to death.

Giving expert evidence yesterday, Professor Korda said it would have been "like hitting a nail into a wooden table" and should have alerted surgeon Dr Samy Nassief to the possibility of damage to major vessels.

Professor Korda agreed with assisting counsel Peggy Dwyer that he would have expected a "competent general surgeon" to identify the source of the bleeding, clamp major arteries and call for assistance if needed. "Most general surgeons should have enough rudimentary knowledge to repair a vascular injury," Professor Korda said.

Ms Clarke-Lewis died during the surgery for the ectopic pregnancy at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital on April 30, 2009.

A post-mortem examination found she died from an intra-abdominal haemorrhage, after injuries to her right common iliac artery and vein. Professor Korda said the trocar caused the damage to the artery, after entering her body about 2-3cm off target, and resulted in Ms Clarke-Lewis losing more than four litres of blood.

Dr Nassief should have made a larger incision to look for the site of the bleeding about 10-15 minutes into the surgery, he said.

"The appropriate response would have been to extend the incision and try and find out where the bleeding was coming from," Professor Korda said.

A second doctor called in to assist Dr Nassief made that larger incision after arriving in theatre about 90 minutes later but was not able to find the direct source of the bleeding in the time.

Nurse Cherie Anderson has previously told the inquest that she believed the trocar's safety mechanism failed, meaning that a sharp blade had been exposed within the stomach of Ms Clarke-Lewis.

Professor Korda said: "If a trocar is inserted in a manner in which it hits the fifth lumbar vertebra, no safety mechanism will protect the patient."

But he was not critical of Dr Nassief's decision to operate on Ms Clarke-Lewis because he said ectopic pregnancies were unpredictable.


Coroner's report

April 1, 2011

Deputy state coroner Hugh Dillon today laid the responsibility for Heidi Clarke-Lewis’s death with surgeon Dr Samy Nassief. The court heard Dr Nassief was out of his depth and parts of his evidence were at times “perplexing” and difficult to accept.

Heidi’s family said they were pleased with the outcome of the “shocking” week-long coronial inquest.

It has taken almost two years to come to a resolution after Heidi died during surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy at Wagga Base Hospital in 2009, and father, Abbey Clarke, says the apologies have been somewhat comforting.

Family solicitor Tim Abbott, however, said it was likely the family would pursue civil damages against Dr Nassief.Mr Dillon praised the efforts of Dr Harrison and Dr Hicks and made recommendations on changes to hospital procedures, including recording surgeries.


Damages claim in  surgery death  settled

15 May, 2012

The family of a woman who died during emergency surgery at Wagga Base Hospital in 2009 has settled a damages claim.  An inquest last year found Doctor Samy Nassief was responsible for the death of 29 year old Heidi Maree Clarke-Lewis.

Her husband and the Clarke-Lewis family sued the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Doctor Nassief.  Family solicitor Tim Abbott says the case has been mediated and finalised, with five undisclosed payouts.

Mr Abbott says the public may never know the outcome because the Health Care Complaints Commission holds closed hearings.

There is an assurance that a Wagga Base Hospital doctor found responsible for Ms Clarke-Lewis' death is working under supervisory conditions.

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District's Chief Executive, Susan Weisser says the conditions under which Doctor Nassief continues to work are set by the Medical Council of New South Wales.

The family's complaint against Dr Nassief is yet to go before the Health Care Complaints Commission.


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