Dr Roman Hasil.
Dr Roman Hasil. Video still courtesy of NZTV1, New Zealand

Dr Roman Hasil allegedly broke a newborn’s leg

THE disgraced former obstetrics registrar, Dr Roman Hasil, broke the leg of a baby during a cesarean delivery at Lismore Base Hospital, the baby’s mother has claimed.

Lismore resident Kristy Bloomfield said that Dr Hasil delivered her first child, Emily, on January 29, 2003, but his delivery was so rough he left the infant in traction for her first three weeks of life.

As first-time parents, Mrs Bloomfield said she and husband Paul had not known what to expect when they arrived at the hospital for the birth.

“We were excited about having the baby,” Mrs Bloomfield said. “I didn’t have a clue about what would happen.”

Mrs Bloomfield’s pregnancy was normal, except the baby had failed to move into the correct position during the final weeks.

“Because she was breech we had to have a cesarean,” she said.

On January 29, 2003, Mrs Bloomfield had a spinal anaesthetic allowing her to be awake during the cesarean. Her husband was with her in the operating theatre for the birth.

“I didn’t know what was normal, but my husband said it was rougher than he thought it would be,” Mrs Bloomfield said.

“I was being moved around the table during the cesarean. It was also very quick. Much quicker than the emergency cesarean I had later with my second child.”

Mrs Bloomfield said it was obvious something wasn’t right as soon as Emily, now five, was born.

“She was very pale and she didn’t cry,” she said.

“But we didn’t know anything at the time.”

When a routine vitamin K injection was given at the site of the break, soon after Emily’s birth, she began to scream.

Three days later her leg began to swell.

“It was thought she was reacting to the injection and was transferred to special care and put on a drip.

The following day an ultrasound revealed Emily’s leg was broken. The new parents were then told their daughter could have brittle bone disease.

“We had to wait all weekend for the tests, which ruled it out, but it was very stressful,” Mrs Bloomfield said.

The Bloomfields were then told Emily’s leg was broken during the delivery. The Northern Star has had independent confirmation of the incident.

“At that stage I wasn’t angry, I had a lot of trust in the hospital,” Mrs Bloomfield said.

“We were told it was a freak accident by a good doctor. When you look at the photos of Emily they are heart-wrenching. You can see the trauma that has gone on.”

It was only when Mrs Bloomfield read reports in The Northern Star about Dr Hasil, five years after Emily’s birth, that she began to question what had happened.

Mrs Bloomfield asked the hospital for a copy of the adverse incident report.

“They said there was no adverse incident report,” she said.

“I was pretty shocked to hear that.”

Mrs Bloomfield said she now felt the hospital had breached her trust. The Bloomfields have lodged a complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission.

They said it was not good enough for the hospital to say it had now fixed the problem. She said more could still be done.

“We need an Australia-wide system that checks out all doctors, but especially overseas doctors, so that all Australians will be protected,” Mrs Bloomfield said.

A North Coast Area Health Service spokesman said Mrs Bloomfield’s files had been forwarded to the Health Care Complaints Commission.

“Since Dr Hasil last worked at Lismore Base Hospital substantial improvements have been made to the complaints management system,” the spokesman said.

The Bloomfields and other Northern NSW victims of Dr Hasil will be featured in a report by 60 Minutes on Channel Nine this Sunday at 7.30pm.

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