15 Jul 2013

Patient not told she had superbug

6:59 pm on 15 July 2013

A plastic surgeon has been faulted for failing to tell a patient who had just had breast surgery that she had a superbug infection in her wounds.

The unnamed plastic surgeon also failed to tell others involved in caring for the woman and has been referred to the Medical Council.

In a report released on Monday, the Health and Disability Commissioner said the woman had breast reduction surgery in 2011.

Days later, nauseous and in agony, she went back several times to the surgeon, whose response she later described as "mocking".

Swabs revealed that she had the superbug MRSA in her wounds, but there is no evidence that the surgeon told her, her family doctor or the district nurse about this. Commissioner Anthony Hill said they should have been to ensure coordinated patient care.

Mr Hill said the surgeon may have under-stated the risk of surgery and should also keep more complete records in future.

The surgeon has been referred to the Medical Council for a competency review.