KUALA LUMPUR – The Sessions Court was told that Datuk Syed Alman Zain Alwi, who died during dental treatment last year, was convulsing several times while his tooth was being extracted, even though he was under general anesthesia.
Dr Arlena Philip Lee, 30, who was a dentist at the Imperial Dental Specialist Centre, said Syed Alman Zain, the son-in-law of the deputy prime minister, began to move when she injected the dental anesthesia on his lower right gum to extract a wisdom tooth.
“I used local anesthetic or LA to inject on the lower gum and at that time, the patient moved. It was like he wanted to lift his left hand.
“At that time, I looked at Doctor Ting Teck Chin (the doctor who administered anesthesia on Syed Alman) and asked if the patient was okay, Dr Ting replied okay.
Dr Arlena, who is the 12th prosecution witness , was the doctor who conducted the dental surgery to extract Syed Alman Zain’s teeth.
She said after being given the injection Syed Alman Zain stopped moving and she continued with the gum surgery procedure.
A few minutes later the victim moved again and lifted both hands as if to hold his face.
“I asked assistant nurse Noor Azima to hold the patient’s hands and at that time, Dr Ting gave another injection on the patient.
“After the injection was given, the patient stopped lifting his hands, and he snored, as if sleeping,” she said.
Dr Arlena said about 15 minutes into the dental surgery, there was movement by Syed Alman Zain again by attempting to lift his arms and legs as if wanting to get up, forcing her to stop the procedure.
By then, she said, she had extracted half of the patient’s wisdom tooth.
“I again asked Dr Ting if the patient was okay and he said okay, you just continue. After that, he gave the patient another injection on the same arm,” she said and the patient stopped moving after that.
Dr Arlena said she then continued with the surgery, but about 10 minutes later Dr Ting ordered her to stop the procedure.
“He said ‘Hold, I think there is something wrong. Can you stop?”, she said, and then gave way for Dr Ting, who later examined the the patient’s pulse.
Earlier, Dr Arlena told the court that before she began with the dental surgery procedure, she had asked Syed Alman Zain for a telephone number in case of an emergency.
She said it was normal for patients to given the telephone numbers of their spouse or other family members as emergency contact numbers, but Syed Alman gave a telephone number of a friend, but did not mention the name.
On Aug 12, 2016, the dental centre, represented by the company’s director Dr Wong Yen Ling, pleaded not guilty to nine charges linked to the death of Syed Alman Zain.
Dr Wong, as the licence-holder, was charged with, among others, failing to ensure that Dr Ting Teck Chin, the person who administered anesthesia on Syed Alman Zain, was a qualified anesthesiologist.
The clinic was also charged with failing to ensure that individuals engaged to perform radiological procedures (orthopantomogram), anaesthesia and IV sedation on Syed Alman Zain had the necessary qualifications.
The company was also charged with failing to put in place life-saving measures by not providing oxygen as a basic emergency care service as well as failing to submit to University Malaya Medical Centre, a copy of all of Syed Alman Zain’s medical records when he was transferred there.
The clinic was also charged with failing to keep and maintain a staff register record, adhere to medicine labelling regulations and take adequate measures to protect its professional healthcare staff and environment from biological hazards.
The offences were allegedly committed at the clinic located at Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Brickfields, here, between 6pm and 9.05pm, between May 26 and June 2, 2016.
Seven of the charges are under Section 31(4), 39(2), 40(4) and 117(2)(b)(i) of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998, which provides for a fine of between RM30,000 and RM300,000, on conviction.
The two other charges are made under Regulation 49(7) and 245(6) of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (Private Hospitals and Other Private Healthcare Facilities) Regulations 2006, which carries a fine of up to RM10,000 or three months imprisonment or both, on conviction. The hearing before Judge Harmi Thamri continues.