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Surgeon reported to GMC over cells


23 January, 2008  

An orthopaedic surgeon could face disciplinary action over claims that patients’ blood cells were used without the proper procedures in place.

Professor David Marsh has been reported to the General Medical Council (GMC) after the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust decided to recall 30 fracture patients for tests.

Managers made the move over concerns about handling procedures in a laboratory involved in their treatment.

The GMC will be informed of the outcome and will then decide if Prof Marsh, who once worked as a consultant at the Royal Victoria and Musgrave Park Hospitals in Belfast, will face any action.

He no longer works for the trust and has left Northern Ireland.

The patients received a pioneering treatment to help their bones heal which involved removing cells from their bone marrow, growing them in a laboratory, and re-injecting them.

But the way the cells were grown may have exposed some of them to a risk of infection.

Dr Tony Stevens, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust medical director, said: “Even though the risk of infection is extremely low, we have asked the 30 people to contact us for a check-up involving a blood test and X-ray.”

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