The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has struck off the Register a
veterinary surgeon who delayed attending a dog that had been run over at a
farm, causing her to suffer unnecessarily.
Following a two-day hearing, the Disciplinary Committee
found Munhuwepasi Chikosi guilty of unreasonably delaying attending Mitzi, a fourteen-and-a-half-year-old
Labrador cross, and of unnecessarily causing her to remain in pain and
suffering for at least an hour.
On 9 September 2011, Mr Chikosi had been
working as a locum veterinary surgeon at the Vets Now out-of-hours emergency
service in Barton-le-Clay, Bedford, when Mitzi's owner telephoned him to say
that his dog was severely injured and to request a home visit for the purpose
At Mr Chikosi's request, the owner attempted to bring
Mitzi into the practice using a blanket. However, it was not possible to get
Mitzi into a Land Rover, and she uncharacteristically bit the owner's son, so
her owner called the practice again.
Mr Chikosi repeated the request to bring
the dog in, saying that he was unable to leave the practice because he was
looking after other animals, but that he could possibly organise another
veterinary surgeon to visit "probably within the next hour or two".
The Committee considered Mr Chikosi's actions in context
of the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2011, which listed a number of
factors for veterinary surgeons to consider when deciding whether to attend an
animal away from the practice premises.
These included the likely treatment
needed, the possibility of the animal being safely conveyed to the veterinary
surgery, the health status of the animal and ability of the owner to manage the
animal's pain until veterinary attention could be sought during normal hours,
and travelling time for the veterinary surgeon.
However, the Committee found Mr Chikosi had made no
enquiries to determine whether Mitzi was in a fit condition to be moved, and
offered no advice as to how her condition could be alleviated whilst waiting
for the home visit. Further, his advice that Mitzi should be moved on a blanket
was wrong, as she may have had an injured back.
The Committee concluded that,
from the outset, Mr Chikosi took the stance that he was unable to leave the
practice because he was the only veterinary surgeon present.
Committee noted, from the information available, that there were only three
in-patients, no critical cases and a qualified veterinary nurse was present.
The Committee found there was no good reason why he should not have attended
the farm, which was only 10 to 15 minutes' drive away.
The Committee said that, by the time Mitzi's owner called
a second time, it was clear that the out-of-hours service was experiencing
difficulty finding a second veterinary surgeon but, instead of going to the
farm himself, Mr Chikosi waited another hour until the second veterinary
surgeon arrived at the out-of-hours service.
Professor Peter Lees, chairing and
speaking on behalf of the Committee said: "The Committee is satisfied that the delay caused
Mitzi unnecessary suffering, which was evidenced by her uncharacteristically
biting [her owner's] son. [Her owner] had recognised the
severity of the injuries and the need for euthanasia as soon as was
practicable. [Mr Chikosi's] failure to attend a seriously injured dog promptly
in the circumstances described falls far short of the conduct to be expected of
a reasonably competent veterinary surgeon."
He directed that Mr Chikosi's name be struck off the
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I do totally agree Mr Parker.
Appalling. What a difficult situation the vet found himself in. Leave and be disciplined for not providing advertised emergency cover, stay and be struck off by unrealistic know-alls. The problem here is the utterly unrealistic expectation that vets can perform home visits at the drop of a hat.
"The committee is satisfied the delay caused unnecessary suffering", "evidenced by uncharacteristic biting", "the owner had recognised severity of the injuries". Sounds like a case based on guess work and assumption. Oh dear, oh dear, have any of these people worked outside an office?
Surely vets now are partly at fault as that is their policy?
Pretty damn harsh considering mthat an equally or more serious case may have arrived at a known emergency service only to find no vet there.
seems a bit harsh to me too, but we don't know the details of the case.
Wow seems a bit harsh
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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