A COLCHESTER doctor has been suspended for 12 months after withdrawing an "excessive amount" of fluid from a patient's brain during a procedure.

Dr Saadia Kamran Rao "did not provide good clinical care" to the patient, referred to as ‘Patient A’, when performing a cerebrospinal drainage procedure, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has heard. 

During the procedure, a small flexible tube, a lumbar drain, is placed in the lower spine.

The tube drains excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which fills the fluid compartment of the brain and around the spinal cord.

During the procedure on July 14, 2021, the Colchester doctor aspirated approximately 110ml of cerebrospinal fluid, which the tribunal says was "an excessive amount".

A CSF drainage typically sees up to 40 to 50ml taken, according to ScienceDirect.

Dr Rao then “falsely told” Miss B she had aspirated around 75mls of CSF during the procedure, "or words to that effect".

She admitted to collecting from the laboratory four vials containing CSF aspirated during the procedure, and to "clandestinely disposing" of around 50mls of CSF. 

MPTS tribunal chair Nathan Moxon said: "She made an entry in Patient A’s medical records stating 36ml of CSF had been measured by Miss D from the four vials obtained from the laboratory.

"The amount of fluid you caused Miss D to record did not reflect the actual amount of CSF that you had obtained from the laboratory.

"He told Miss E to inform Patient A’s mother if asked that during the procedure you had aspirated 36ml of CSF alongside 10ml that went to the laboratory, or words to that effect."

The Tribunal concluded: “In light of the earlier findings, particularly in relation to the ongoing risk to patient safety, it is necessary in order to protect the public, to uphold the public interest, and to maintain and promote proper professional standards, to direct an immediate order of suspension.”

Dr Rao's fitness to practise was determined to be currently impaired and the decision was made to suspend her registration for a period of 12 months.

It imposed an immediate order of suspension to cover the 28-day appeal period and directed a review hearing should take place before the substantive sanction of suspension comes to an end.