I woke up in op with HIV dentist not qualified to knock me out

A DISTRAUGHT patient spoke of his horror at waking up in the middle of major dental surgery at the hands of a struck- off HIV dentist.

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Donald Richardson said he was treated at Kelburne Surgery in Paisley
Donald Richardson said he was treated at Kelburne Surgery in Paisley

Donald Richardson says he was given an general anaesthetic by disgraced Harry Robertson, who was kicked off the dental register for lying about having HIV.

Today, the Evening Times can reveal that Robertson, from Glasgow's West End, who worked at Kelburne Dental Surgery in Paisley, Renfrewshire, wasn't even qualified to knock patients out.

Donald told of his nightmare ordeal after reading our exclusive report which revealed that 500 patients still had to be traced for HIV testing.

Our story came as a double shocker for the 52-year-old because he now faces the risk of HIV and the knowledge that he could have died after being given a dose of general anaesthetic by an unqualified dentist.

Donald had requested to be knocked out for root canal treatment and fillings because he has a fear of needles.

The former electrical contractor who is now a full-time carer for his mum, said: "When I read the story in the Evening Times about this doctor hiding his HIV from patients I was horrified.

"Not only will I have to go through a test where I'll have to face a needle but I now know that this man wasn't even qualified to perform a general anaesthetic on me which is more worrying.

"This is a complicated procedure even for a qualified anaesthetist because if you don't get the levels right you can kill someone.

"This dentist put my life at risk by doing it himself and I will pursue him legally as far as I can take it now."

Robertson refused to comment on the fresh claims when confronted at his home in Glasgow's West End yesterday.

Donald has made an official complaint to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde about the dentist's use of general anaesthetic.

A spokeswoman said: "We have received an email from Mr Richardson and will respond to him direct."

Donald paid £100 in advance for a proper anaesthetist to come in to the dental surgery for the 2007 procedure to give him a general anaesthetic.

He added: "I sat in the waiting room for 40 minutes but he didn't turn up. This dentist Robertson took me into his room, sat me on the chair and administered it himself.

"I had no idea what was going on and I was completely knocked out.

"You can imagine my horror when I woke up about half an hour later to find him still working in my mouth and I was in agony.

"He then got this massive needle and injected more anaesthetic into my gums. I was frozen with fear and I'll never forget that day for the rest of my life.

"On the way out he handed me the £100 back but it was such a terrible experience I never went back to him.

"This guy had obviously given me too little of the stuff and I woke up in the middle of it all. He could just as easily have given me too much and killed me."

Today, Donald faces an HIV blood test by his GP after contacting the health authorities directly.

He added: "To lie about having HIV is bad enough but to carry out life-threatening procedures without being properly qualified is out of order.

"I'm absolutely terrified of having an HIV test, not because I fear I may have HIV, but because I will have to face a needle. I'm pretty confident I'm in the clear because I've been in hospital since and HIV would have been picked up."

Donald is now terrified to go back to a dentist or have a general anaesthetic for fear of waking up in the middle of it.

To carry out a general anaesthetic, medical professionals need to be qualified in anaesthesia and registered with the General Medical Council. It confirmed Robertson was not on the register.

Thousands of NHS and private patients in the town have had blood tests after being told there was a "very slight risk" they had been exposed to the virus after being treated by Robertson. He was kicked off the dental register and we revealed that NHSGGC was still trying to trace 500 patients who have not yet been screened.

A spokeswoman said: "There were people who we could not trace because they had moved from the area and we conducted a public awareness campaign in the hope these people would present for testing."

janice.burns@eveningtimes.co.uk

l If you are a former patient of Robertson and have concerns about his treatment please call our newsdesk on 0141 302 6520.

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