Patient died because surgeon guessed dose

News  Daily Telegraph (U.K.). Tuesday, 27 November 2001.

Paul Stokes

Circumcision Patient dies of Anaesthetic Overdose

A SURGEON guessed the level of anaesthetic he gave to a patient who died after a routine circumcision operation, a jury was told yesterday.

Pravin Chaturbhai Patel, 52, was charged with manslaughter after Andrew Ryan received an injection more than three times the recommended levels.

Mr Ryan, 20, a muscular dystrophy sufferer, went to Shotley Bridge Hospital, in Consett, Co Durham, for the operation on July 25, 1997.

He weighed about 3st 4lb and had 10 millilitres (200mg) of two per cent lignocaine administered as a local anaesthetic. This was the maximum adult dose, Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court was told, but the maximum dose in Mr Ryan's case was 3 millilitres (60mg).

Jeremy Hill-Baker, prosecuting, said Patel was guilty of gross negligence by not ascertaining Mr Ryan's weight to calculate the amount of drug.

He had given Mr Ryan an overdose of local anaesthetic which led to convulsions, respiratory failure and ultimately death, said Mr Hill-Baker.

Patel, of Harrow, north-west London, denies manslaughter. The hearing continues.

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