A senior operating department practitioner who smelt of alcohol was unable to focus on her work, even when a patient lay bleeding on an operating table, a health service tribunal has heard.
Catrina Thomson stands accused of working in cardiovascular theatres under the influence of alcohol on two separate occaisions, exactly two years apart.
The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) hearing heard that she was "distracted and clumsy in her tasks" on the first alleged occasion, while she was working at Guy's Hospital in London on April 25 2013.
Thomson was forced to attend an HR meeting in the wake of the incident, according to Court News UK.
She told the hearing that she had only one glass of wine that day. But Hannah Eales, from the HCPTS, said Thomson "wasn’t focussing and didn’t seem as lucid as she normally was."
It is also claimed Thomson worked under the influence of alcohol on April 25 2015, and this time the consumption allegedly affected her ability to deal with a bleeding patient.
Eales said: "Thomson progressively lost focus and didn’t seem to realise the seriousness of the situation when the patient was bleeding profusely."
Thomson told the court that, on this occasion, she had consumed two to three drinks the night before. She maintains that she does not have a problem with alcohol.
The HCPTS panel will now decide whether Thomson is guilty of misconduct. Thomson did not attend the hearing and is unrepresented.
The panel will also make a decision about whether Thomson's fitness to practice is impaired. If they find against her she could be kicked out of the profession.