You know when you’re trying to put something together and some of the pieces won’t quite fit where they’re supposed to so you give it a few good smacks and then everything’s fine? You’re not supposed to do that when what you’re working on is somebody’s face, Dr. Peckitt.
The man – known only as Patient A – had suffered serious injuries in an industrial accident which required facial surgery, but two weeks later a cheekbone became displaced when he fell out of a hospital bed in February 2012.
Prof Peckitt, 63, who was working as an honorary locum consultant in oral and maxillo-facial surgery at Ipswich Hospital, undertook both procedures.
The tribunal heard how the surgeon was attempting to reduce the fracture when he unexpectedly curled his hand into a fist, pulled it back around six inches and struck the patient’s face.
An experienced colleague who was observing Prof Peckitt’s techniques was then instructed to hold the patient’s head, and he was struck again.
She said there were “gasps” from others in the operating theatre and she was left in a state of “total shock”.
Erica Rapaport, an associate specialist in oral and maxillo-facial surgery and dental surgeon with more than 30 years’ experience, said Prof Peckitt initially punched the man without warning colleagues.
“He made his hand into a fist and he hit the patient in the face on the left side of his cheek,” she said.
“His hand was about six inches away. I think the first time he punched the patient I wasn’t holding the patient and it was then that I was instructed to do so by Prof Peckitt.
“He applied about 10 punches like a boxer. He took aim and then punched.
“The first punch was unexpected and then he explained what he was doing. He spoke as he punched again and again.”
She added: “I can remember a feeling of total shock the first time he hit the patient.
“I didn’t challenge him at the time. I was too shocked.”
Speaking of shocked, surely you will be so when you learn that Dr. Peckitt is no longer Dr. Peckitt, at least not in England. He’s since found work in India, so good luck with that, I guess.