Mercy Medical Center officials speak out

State investigates deaths at Mercy Medical Center
February 14, 2008 3:06:46 PM PST
Officials of a Long Island hospital under investigation are speaking out on behalf of their institution Thursday.The state is looking into four deaths at Mercy Medical Center. Officials there haven't talked about the investigation, until now.

Long Island reporter Lauren DeFranco has more.

"The allegations that patients are in danger at Mercy Medical Center are simply not true," Dr. Robert Curran said.

Doctors at the hospital spoke passionately, refusing to stay silent at the what they call defamation and character assassination.

This, after news of a state investigation into the deaths of four patients.

The news conference was held to do major damage control. Officials say recent media reports have generated a tremendous amount of fear in the hospital among patients and staffers.

Staffers spoke out against Dr. Anthony Colantonio, who initially brought some of the cases to light. In one instance, a woman died during a mastectomy she didn't need.

But hospital officials say he has an agenda and is one of three doctors in the last decade to face severe disciplinary action.

"We will not allow this hospital to suffer the actions of a single individual whose agenda has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with inflicting pain," Dr. Daniel Murphy said.

"That is evidence of administrative disfunction in the hospital," Dr. Colantonio said. "That is a hospital that is not properly reviewing their policies and reviewing their procedures."

The hospital, however, is being reviewed by the joint commission, which cites problems like hand hygiene and record keeping.

It's no surprise that Mercy is trying to nurse its image back to health.