College suspends Labrador obstetrician after two baby deaths in 2014

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Labrador obstetrician has been found guilty of professional misconduct and ordered to apologize and serve a three-month suspension after two babies died in 2014.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador says Dr. Ikechukwu (Steven) Madu failed to maintain professional standards.

He had previously worked in Gander in central Newfoundland.

An adjudication panel found he failed to plan in July 2014 to induce birth at 38 to 39 weeks for a diabetic patient. She was admitted to hospital at 41 weeks, where an ultrasound revealed the baby had died in the womb.

A month earlier, the college says a baby was stillborn after Madu failed to detect an abnormal fetal heart rate and speed up delivery.

The adjudication panel’s decision also says Madu didn’t fully assess a third patient’s documented history, or discuss and document risks and benefits of a gynecological surgery he performed in July 2014.

“The tribunal found that his actions in each of the three complaints amounted to conduct deserving of sanction,” it says.

It has ordered that Madu’s medical licence be suspended for three months.

He must also apologize in writing to all three women, pay investigation and hearing costs of $20,000 to the college, go before the adjudication panel for reprimand and take continuing education on ethical conduct along with informed consent.

The college’s quality assurance committee suspended Madu’s obstetrics licence in August 2014. His skills and competence were externally assessed twice.

In April 2016, he received a full licence to practice obstetrics and gynecology after completing a final exam with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Labrador-Grenfell Health said Friday in a statement that Madu has practised since then without incident at the Labrador West Health Centre.

“The health authority has had no issue or concern with Dr. Madu’s clinical practice.”

It says Madu will serve his suspension “in a series of three separate, one-month intervals.” The health authority said other arrangements are in place, and any clients with questions should contact the obstetrical clinic.

An online professional profile for Dr. Steve Madu says he studied obstetrics and gynecology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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