An OB-GYN was found guilty of professional misconduct for starting a caesarean section on a woman who was not fully sedated.
Dr. Lee Kim Kwong continued the procedure even after the woman screamed in pain following the first cut, according to Asia One.
Dr. Lee failed to make sure the epidural anesthesia had taken effect before starting the procedure in August 2010. And despite the fact that the woman made it clear that it had not, he continued with the surgery anyways.
At the time of the procedure, the anesthetist, Dr. Lim Eng Siong, administered an epidural to the patient in the operating theater. The patient told Dr. Lee when he entered that she still had some feeling in her leg.
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The doctor made a cut into her abdomen, making her scream. He then gave her a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide for about a minute to sedate her.
The baby was delivered three minutes after.
The Singapore Medical Council found that Lee’s choice to continue the procedure despite the woman’s scream of pain was “completely unacceptable,” reports Singapore’s Today.
The SMC said in a release that the woman’s scream "stayed in the minds of several of the medical professionals in that operating theatre,” according to Channel News Asia.
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Dr. Lee, who is in his 60s, claimed that he had made a “test scratch,” not a caesarean incision, when the patient screamed.
The Court of Three Judges heard his appeal and found it “hopelessly devoid of merits."
The court did reduce his suspension from nine to five months, bringing it in line with similar precedent cases. Lee will still have to pay $10,000 in fines.