The doctor was on trial on Wednesday for, among other things, grossly negligent homicide. The reason for this is the death of a 32-year-old as a result of a follicle puncture carried out on June 3 in a fertility clinic in Baden (piercing of the follicles to remove the eggs, note).
We reported about the death:
Two women aged 31 and 35 who were treated on the same day in the private facility also developed complications. The two had received temporary intensive care, but were soon on their way to recovery. In this context, the specialist in anesthesia and intensive care medicine was accused of grossly negligent bodily harm.
Specifically, the 64-year-old is said to have made a mistake when administering the drug Propofol on June 3. As the public prosecutor explained in his opening lecture, the day before the accused had used a vial filled with the substance in a Viennese clinic. Instead of disposing of it afterwards – as usual – the defendant took the opened container home and stored it there in the refrigerator.
“He took this bottle back to the baby clinic on June 3,” said the prosecution representative. “That was a coincidence, fate for me. That was stupid,” the anesthetist stated.
Using propofol was “never a problem” for him for 30 years and was actually “like riding a bike,” emphasized the doctor. The defendant said that he was not aware that containers of this agent that had already been opened could not be used again.
The judge did not accept this description from the doctor. “I cannot believe you the claim that you did not know that you were not allowed to use an opened propofol bottle,” said the lawyer immediately before the judgment of incompetence, which was unexpected for many observers. “I have to assume you knew it had to be thrown away.”
The lawyer did not see the anesthesia as such justified. “You knowingly used the propofol when it was very clear that you shouldn’t and acted in the hope that nothing would happen.”
The judge stressed that “a large number” of further possible physical injuries suffered by patients who may have been treated in this way must be dealt with before any further charges can be brought. While the defense appealed and appealed for nullity, the prosecutor made no statement.
The death of a 32-year-old as a result of treatment in a private fertility clinic in Baden became the main topic of a trial at the regional court in Wiener Neustadt on Wednesday.
A 64-year-old anesthetist is accused of gross negligence. The medic had assumed responsibility for the June incident in the course of the investigation, but now pleaded not guilty.
On June 3, the Austrian citizen is said to have made mistakes when administering the drug Propofol during follicle punctures (piercing the follicles for egg removal, note). As the prosecutor explained in his opening lecture, the 64-year-old had used a vial with the drug the day before. Instead of disposing of it afterwards – as usual – the accused transported the already opened container home and stored it there in the refrigerator.
“He took this bottle back to the baby clinic on June 3rd,” said the prosecution representative. “That was a coincidence, fate for me. That was stupid,” the anesthetist stated. In the Baden facility, the doctor, who basically works in a Viennese hospital, only wanted to help out at the beginning of June. “Was a bad idea for me,” he said dryly.
The 64-year-old is said to have transferred ingredients from the container contaminated with intestinal germs to three women as part of the treatment. The 32-year-old patient died two days later in a Vienna hospital. According to the public prosecutor’s office, she had suffered a septic shock with massive blood clotting disorder, the trigger is considered to be contamination with germs. Two other women had received temporary intensive care, but were soon on their way to recovery. In this context, the specialist in anesthesia and intensive care medicine is accused of grossly negligent bodily harm.
Using propofol was “never a problem” for him for 30 years and was actually “like riding a bike,” emphasized the doctor. However, he was not aware of the fact that already opened containers of this agent are not allowed to be used again, said the defendant, described by colleagues as very inquisitive, to the astonishment of the single judge. He does not want to have looked up this matter in specialist publications, and according to his own statements, he did not even look at the package insert before the treatments.
The doctor, who spoke of a “terrible thing”, said he was destroyed by the complications that had occurred: “I am still finished and have no memory.” He admitted that he had not used the propofol correctly. “But that wasn’t the cause of death.”
Michael Dohr, the anesthetist’s attorney, saw it similarly. The 32-year-old had ovarian hyperstimulation due to a total of 19 egg cells removed, which ultimately led to a fatal coagulation disorder in the body. The lawyer also questioned the contamination of the medicine bottle. “One wonders how an intestinal germ can get into the refrigerator,” said the lawyer in the room. Furthermore, the germ was only detected after the container had been in the garbage can for a long time.