Doctor Vincent Osunkwo received the job of senior house officer at Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise after he was the only one to apply for the position after it was advertised nationally and internationally. In March/April of 2009 Dr Osunkwo faced 5 allegations and was eventually found guilty of professional misconduct and poor professional performance in 2013 by a Medical Council Fitness to Practise committee.
The 5 allegations made include the following:
1. Telling a consultant a scan performed on a patient’s kidney was ‘fine’ when it in fact showed multiple abnormal masses
2. Asking the nursing staff if a patient’s pulse rate reading of 165 beats a minute was high
3. Reading an x-ray upside down
4. Telling members of his medical team that a patient was ‘fine’ when that patient was in fact receiving oxygen in intensive care
5. Almost cutting into a patients vein with a scalpel
The inquiry heard evidence from 3 nurses, one who shared the story of the scalpel incident.
The nurse went on to say that she told nurse Burkley that she was concerned Dr Osunkwo didn’t know what he was doing before. She continued: “Dr Osunkwo had a scalpel in his hand. She (the patient) was crying he was about to cut into a vein, I said, ‘Jesus what are you doing?”
“He was holding her hand quite tightly and she was saying, ‘no it’s sore.’
“I pulled it out of his hand and I said why? He mumbled something under his breath and had a blank look on his face.”
“I didn’t honestly believe that that was a real doctor that night. He just hadn’t a clue how to treat a patient,” she added.