A MEDIC at the centre of a botched delivery which saw a premature baby decapitated in the womb "does not present a risk to patients" and will not face sanctions.

Dr Vaishnavy Laxman's fitness to practise is not impaired by misconduct and the tragedy was "an isolated, single incident in an otherwise unblemished career", a tribunal has found.

Read more: Doctor in baby tragedy 'should have performed C-section', tribunal finds

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) said it was "not necessary" to impose a warning against Dr Laxman's registration as a result of the incident, which occurred at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee on March 16 2014.

The MPTS said it was also revoking existing restrictions which ban her from working in obstetrics without supervision. 

However, the tribunal heard that while Dr Laxman continues to practise as a gynaecologist, she had already voluntarily given up obstetrics.

Although the tribunal found that Dr Laxman's had been wrong to attempt a vaginal delivery instead of a caesarean section, it concluded that the complications plaguing the birth meant there was "a significant risk that [the infant] would not have survived regardless of the mode of delivery".

Read more: Baby's head 're-attached' after decapitation so that mother could say goodbye

The tribunal heard how the mother's waters had broken early, at 25 weeks, and Dr Laxman had tried to deliver the baby boy naturally despite a number of complications - including an abnormally low heart rate, prolapsed umbilical cord and being in the breech position.

Crucially, the mother's cervix was only 4cm (two inches) dilated. The tribunal found that Dr Laxman should have carried out a C-section given the risk of the boy's head being trapped in the birth canal, but accepted that she "genuinely believed" a vaginal delivery was in the mother and baby's best interests.

Read more: Medics 'should not be prosecuted' for mistakes that kill patients

The tribunal heard how the baby's head became stuck during delivery and that he was decapitated when Dr Laxman pulled on his legs and torso. The head had to be retrieved by C-section and re-attached.

However, the tribunal stressed that while Dr Laxman's decision to proceed with a vaginal delivery "contributed to the decapitation", it had not "caused or contributed" to the infant's death as he was already dead prior to being decapitated.

As a result, the tribunal "did not find that Dr Vilvanathan Laxman’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct".

The determination said Dr Laxman had "learnt from this unfortunate episode" and "the likelihood of it being repeated is extremely remote".

It added: "Even good doctors can make mistakes and that it is sometimes a consequence of the field in which they are practising that the results of their mistakes can be significant...Nothing in this determination should detract from the fact that on March 16 2014 Dr Vilvanathan Laxman made a significant error of judgement which had serious consequences and a profound impact upon [the mother] and for which Dr Vilvanathan Laxman bears a heavy responsibility."