Anaesthetist ‘nods off’ while on duty in op theatre

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An elderly anaesthetist who allegedly FELL ASLEEP while on duty in the operating theatre has been allowed to return to work.

Milton Keynes Hospital held an internal investigation after complaints that senior consultant Mike Cowen nodded off during emergency Caesarian section surgery.

A Citizen source claimed: “His head was slumped on his chest and he was apparently fast asleep. He didn’t even wake up when the surgeon asked him to adjust the anaesthesia.”

This week hospital bosses insisted the patient herself was “not put at risk”.

It is understood two midwives and the surgeon made an official complaint to hospital bosses after the incident earlier this year. Even the father of the baby being delivered saw what happened, say sources.

Mr Cowen, believed to be in his late 70s or even early 80s, was suspended for nine months on full pay while an investigation took place,

This month he was allowed to return to work at the hospital. He is also continuing his duties as a private consultant at the nearby BMI Saxon Clinic.

Milton Keynes Hospital’s medical director, Martin Wetherill, told the Citizen: “A concern was raised about an anaesthetist allegedly falling asleep during a Caesarean section procedure. A full investigation into the events was conducted.

“The patient involved was not put at risk during the procedure and no concerns were raised by the patient or relatives in regard to the care they received.”

Mr Wetherill added: “No other claims have been made against the member of staff.”

Mr Cowen, who qualified in 1965, was unavailable for comment. He is currently on leave doing charity work in Pakistan.