Incompetent Egyptian surgeon kills NSW woman





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.

SOURCE

14 comments:

  1. My name is Dr Rob North. I am an Australian trained surgeon and I would like to make the following comment please. Professor Andrew Korda your honesty and courage in exposing an incompetent surgeon is admired by the long mistreated Australian people. It's time for the federal government having established AHPRA to weed out these dangerous surgeons and to never again allow Australian patients to be exposed to dangerous overseas trained doctors. Dr Samy Nassief has now moved to Bathurst to expose further patients to incompetence. He was trained in Egypt and falls well below Australian standards.

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  2. For the record, I would like to say that I was a patient of Dr Samy Nassiefs in 2007 & 2008 in Bathurst. I saw him before and during my pregnancy with my 1st child. He also delivered my son via c-section.
    As a patient of Dr Nassiefs I found him to be very caring, understanding, professional, helpful, and very experienced.
    My care was 1st rate and I trusted him.
    I have not heard that he has moved back to Bathurst, but I really hope that he has as he has been missed.

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  3. I'm a professor of surgery and I trained in Sydney. This is a very sad story. The inquest found that the doctor was at fault. However, I'm confident that no doctor would deliberately compromise patient care regardless of where they trained. I know that Dr Rob North has probably never done a laparoscopic procedure in his life. I wonder if has actually ever met Dr Nassieff or whatever the doctor's name was. I believe the anaesthetist was also trained in the Middle East. The doctor showed remorse as a father and a doctor. He said the tragic loss of Heidi is not any easier and will remain on his conscience forever.

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  4. To sit in a court room and to be told lies there was no remorse or truth to anything that Dr Sami Nassief said ....a healthy 29year old passsed away at the hands of a Qualified surgeon Would you send your family member to Dr Nassief now that your aware of Heidi's case. I would NOT.

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  5. I had Samy Nassief for the delivery of my third child ten years ago, he also preformed surgery for unrelated problems. You would not find a more caring,thoughtful or thorough doctor whose main concern was always for the safety and well being of his patients. I know that Sammy Nassief's heart would be breaking over this horrific loss beacause unlike most Doctors he genuinely cares for his patience

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  6. Dr North, stop your b*s*. I am a doctor, and know how 'competent' Aussie doctors are! Anyway, Dr Nassief is a FRANZCOG, regardless of where he has trained (for your information he worked in the UK, and is an FRCOG). If you think overseas doctors are not at par with Aussie doctors, and yet RANZCOG grants them Specialist status, something must be terribly wrong with your system and your ROYAL College. And the very fact that you still have to rely on doctors whom you call 'incompetent', shows Australia in poor light. Stop calling yourselves 'first world', 'developed' etc, because you cannot even produce enough doctors!

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  7. I had Dr Nassief a few years ago. He sent me to Lithgow Private hospital hours away from where I resided. I was sent for a Laparoscopy hysteroscopy and a d&c for retained polyps. Only a few females awiting their treatment we given urine pregnancy tests though that was not offered to me. A few days after the procedue Dr Nassief called me personally to inform me that Pathology just informed him that I was pregnant. As every gyn I spoke to said "How is that even possible after a curet". He obviously didn't perform a D&C! I was then booked for an abortion with Marie Stopes as the fetus to most opinion was interfeared with. The procedure was very painful and upsetting and took longer than they expected. (it didn't want to come out)
    I also had a uterine biopsy which the Dr didn't let me know I could take any pain relief also didn't inform me that I would bleed immediately. I never recieved test results either. I am now going through PCOS and still have retained polyps, Dr Nassief should have picked up this problem if he was properly trained and certified. No doctor should ever miss something so important. I have been trying to get my medical records and apparently he has the only copies. That should be illegal. I went to the local practice my records should be there. I would like to talk to anyone in the same situation as I have faced wether it is the same DR or someone else.

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    1. I am trying to get my records of the name of another Wagga Base Hospital surgeon who botched my gyno surgery. I have to wait for at least a month and pay admin fees just to find his first name. It should not be that difficult to find the name of the person given the power to mutilate ones body under anaesthesia - in perfect trust! The hospital also misplaced me while I was there - while I was waiting for surgery, lying drugged-up on the bed somewhere, they told my waiting parents that I must have walked home - when I could barely walk two steps! Anyway, I have been scarred for life in crucial ways. I look like Frankenstein's monster and have lost sexual feeling, but the pain I have endured unnecessarily, for weeks and weeks, has been absolutely excruciating. In short, I have been maimed and virtually circumcised in what was meant to be the simplest of surgeries. Who knew going to hospital would be like walking into a minefield?! When they assign you a surgeon, you're playing a game of Russian Roulette. And to think of the fortune these butchers are receiving!!!! NOT HAPPY!!!

      Re the incident with Heidi, when a terrible loss! My heart goes out to her family!

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  8. I had Dr Nassief a few years ago. He sent me to Lithgow Private hospital hours away from where I resided. I was sent for a Laparoscopy hysteroscopy and a d&c for retained polyps. Only a few females awiting their treatment we given urine pregnancy tests though that was not offered to me. A few days after the procedue Dr Nassief called me personally to inform me that Pathology just informed him that I was pregnant. As every gyn I spoke to said "How is that even possible after a curet". He obviously didn't perform a D&C! I was then booked for an abortion with Marie Stopes as the fetus to most opinion was interfeared with. The procedure was very painful and upsetting and took longer than they expected. (it didn't want to come out)
    I also had a uterine biopsy which the Dr didn't let me know I could take any pain relief also didn't inform me that I would bleed immediately. I never recieved test results either. I am now going through PCOS and still have retained polyps, Dr Nassief should have picked up this problem if he was properly trained and certified. No doctor should ever miss something so important. I have been trying to get my medical records and apparently he has the only copies. That should be illegal. I went to the local practice my records should be there. I would like to talk to anyone in the same situation as I have faced wether it is the same DR or someone else.

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  9. I have worked with Dr Nassief and have always found him very kind and caring with all of his patients. There are local Doctors and midwifes who have elected him to care for them during their pregancy (after the incident) when there were other consultants to choose from. This was a dreadful incident and i know he feels responsible and will never get over the loss. Every Doctor knows the risks associated with all surgery and pray it does not happen to them. I would also have him treat me or my family anytime

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  10. I had a hysterectomy done by Dr Nassief 10 years ago in Lithgow Hospital I found him to be very pushy wanting me to have my ovaries removed also which at 39 was not an option for me, the surgery was done I had a very bad infection after procedure but of cause no known cause of this, 18 months later I had to have one ovary removed due to a cyst Dr Nassief performed this procedure also but sometime later it was discovered I was left with an ovarian remnant syndrome - not all the ovary was removed so this meant I may as well still have the ovary - but apparaently this was no-ones fault - what the? So I feel sorry for this young girl and her family as I had a friend who had a. Hysterectomy also by Dr Nassief and her bladder was cut during operation and had complications also. In closing I believe Dr Nassief has been making minor mistakes for a long time what a shame it has come to a beautiful girl losing her life by a major mistake.

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  11. Anonymous
    In reading this very sad story of this beautiful woman, i would like to add that i was on the receiving end of this so called surgeon ,Samy Nassief.
    I had a full hysterectomy in 2008 in Bathurst and from that day to this i am still having probelms. It took me 3 years to find out what was wrong with me and this doctor was not interested in finding out either. I have now found out that he trapped a nerve in my stomach when he sewed me up and i have been in constant pain ever since. When i went back for my 6 week check up , i told him of my pain and he's words to me were "that i have healed too quickly " but i knew that something was desperately wrong.
    The damage that this surgeon has done is permanent and now i am in the process of getting a pain stimulator inserted to cope with the constant pain.
    My heart goes out to anyone who has been operated on by this surgeon !!!

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  12. I had dr samy operate on me in 2007 (emergency c-section) i had the procedure done with no anastesia i also had massive amounts of placenta left behind i would consider this incompitent at least..this was in bathurst at the bathurst base hospital

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  13. Professor Andrew Korda is an alleged "gun for hire" who writes negative medicolegal reports regardless of the facts.

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