Rehired Oldham doctor admits killing woman in botched routine procedure

A woman died after a doctor botched a routine procedure, a Manchester court has heard.

Dr Isyaka Mamman, who is believed to be 85, had been suspended once by a medical watchdog for lying about his age and had been sacked but then re-employed by the Royal Oldham hospital, where he was responsible for a series of critical incidents before the fatal appointment, Manchester crown court was told.

Mamman had used various dates of birth and left his previous job after “poor performance”. Mamman, of Royton, near Oldham, will be sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to gross negligence manslaughter. He was told by the judge to be prepared to spend time in jail.

The court heard that Shahida Parveen, 48, attended the hospital with her husband, Khizar Mahmood, for a routine bone marrow biopsy procedure as part of investigations into a possible myeloproliferative disorder.

Mamman, who was a specialist in haematology, was allocated the procedure, in which bone marrow samples are normally taken from the hip. Instead, Mamman attempted a rare and “highly dangerous” procedure of attempting to extract samples from Parveen’s sternum, Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, told the hearing.

Despite objections from the patient and her husband, Mamman went on to use an incorrect biopsy needle, missed the bone and pierced Parveen’s pericardium – which contains the heart – causing fatal internal bleeding.

After Parveen lost consciousness as soon as the needle was inserted, her husband ran from the room shouting: “He killed her. I told him to stop three times and he did not listen. He killed her.” A cardiac arrest team arrived at the scene and Parveen was confirmed dead later that day, 3 September 2018.

The court heard that in 2015 a formal complaint was made to Oldham hospital by a patient who said Mamman had used “excessive force” during a bone marrow biopsy. The patient was assured Mamman would be put on light duties in the future and was advised that while the doctor was in his 70s and colleagues thought he should retire, they could not dismiss him solely due to his age.

Mamman went on to carry out another bone marrow procedure in the same year, in which he inserted the needle in the wrong place and left a patient permanently disabled.

Mamman qualified as a doctor in Nigeria in 1965 and started working in the UK in 1991. His true age was a matter of controversy, the court heard, as his birthplace in rural Nigeria had no formal system of birth registration.

Originally Mamman said he was 21 when he began his medical training, making him 81 at the time of the fatal incident. However, in 2001 when he was approaching the compulsory retirement age of 65 he changed his birthdate to October 1947, which would mean he was 10 when he started his medical degree course.

The defence lawyer Michael Hayton said it was clear Mamman should not have been allowed to continue treating patients, but argued he was “not the only person at fault”. He said: “There’s a grotesque catalogue of failings by the trust from 2015.”

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday morning.

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