Coimbra neurosurgeon investigated over ‘suspicious deaths’

Algarve hospital intern accuses former mentor and director of surgery of negligence

Denounces 11 situations, in which she claims three patients died, others suffered lesions including “accidental castration”

A first year intern at CHUA (the University hospital centre of the Algarve) has made an extraordinary announcement over social media, alleging 11 cases of negligence “practised” by her former mentor, as well as implicating Faro hospital’s director of surgery.

Diana Pereira Carvalho says she has denounced the cases to Faro’s PJ judicial police, to the general medical council, health regulatory authority ERS and the central administration of health ACSS.

Giving no names, she details “11 cases occurred between January and March this year that I consider (to be) error/ negligence, and which are at this moment being investigated by the public prosecutor’s office.

“Of the 11 patients, three died, two are interned in intermediate care, the rest suffered body lesions associated with medical error, which vary from accidental castration, to the loss of a kidney and the necessity of a colostomy bag for the rest of life

“One of the patients spent a week with a compress in the abdomen”, she added.

Uploaded yesterday, the instagram post has received over 26,000 ‘likes’, with a lot more in the way of details appearing in the commentary section.

With regard to the director of surgery, the young doctor says: “He knows of the cases of the complaints, and did not decide to make a complaint or remove the surgeon in question”.

In her mindset “he is therefore conniving with the actions” and for this reason she included his name in her official complaint.

This is obviously a hugely contentious issue – and comes on the back of similar denouncements made earlier this year by two surgeons at Amadora-Sintra hospital – who later found themselves suspended from duty and shunned by their colleagues.

Diana Pereira Carvalho says she too has been the target of reprisals.

“They invented a story to defame me in the entire hospital”, she writes in the commentaries section. “They are alleging insanity when my complaint refers to clinical acts, based on proof with complementary means of diagnosis and surgical reports”.

With television networks already reportedly ‘on the case’, having prepared reports and spoken to victims and their respective families, nothing yet has been widely-publicised – hence the reason for Diana Pereira Carvalho taking to Instagram. “I ask support in publicity so that this (story) gets to all the entities it has to reach and measures are taken”.

She writes that the day after presenting her formal complaint, “a woman patient of 40 years old was the victim of further complications at the hands of this surgeon”.

Noticiassominuto says it has been in touch with president of the general medical council, Carlos Cortes, who confirmed “contact with Diana Pereira de Carvalho, with whom he remains in permanent communication”.

Carlos Cortes also confirmed that the public prosecutor’s office, the general inspectorate of health activities (IGAS), the ministry of health and the hospital itself have all been informed of the complaints.

“The complaints need to be verified, but they are very serious”, he said, stressing that he is not aware of any other complaints “of the same scope in the hospital in question”. 

The general medical council’s disciplinary board is investigating the allegations, says noticiasaominuto, while a meeting is scheduled for Friday at CHUA to discuss the case.

The online says it has also contacted the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Education and Faro Hospital, “but has yet to receive a reply”.

Since uploading this story, Jornal de Notícias, Postal Algarve and other online services have carried the same information, indeed there a number of extra details in the report by O Novo.

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