Dentist retires after caught administering oral sedatives

A DENTIST who practised in Mackay and Rockhampton has been ordered not to re-apply for registration in Australia after he engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct surrounding the use of oral sedatives.

The Australian Dental Board alleged that Dr Patrick O'Brien administered oral conscious sedation to nine patients, including the drug midazolam, between February and December, 2008.

At the time, dentists were only permitted to administer conscious sedation to a patient if they had undergone the necessary and approved training.

Dr O'Brien admitted, during a Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing last November, that certain aspects of his treatment of patients with midazolam had constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct.

Dr O'Brien further admitted he had performed oral conscious sedation when he was not qualified, registered or accredited to do so.

The tribunal also heard Dr O'Brien failed to inform two patients that midazolam should not be administered to persons of their age and that he allowed one patient to be discharged while still sedated.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren, in handing down his decision, confirmed an undertaking Dr O'Brien had provided to the Australian Dental Board earlier that he would immediately and permanently retire from dental practice.

Dr O'Brien also agreed he would not re-apply for registration as a health practitioner in any jurisdiction in Australia, or would not appeal the decision in the future.


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