Surgeons suspended for not operating

May 6, 2009 3:42:43 PM PDT
It's the kind of hospital incident that makes you cringe. Investigators from the state's health department are trying to figure out how a female patient was prepped for brain surgery at North Shore University Hospital, and then her doctor couldn't be found.

She was even under anesthesia and staffers were reportedly frantic searching for neurosurgeon Dr. Paolo Bolognese.

When they couldn't find him, they asked the chief of neurosurgery, Dr. Thomas Milhorat, to perform the operation.

He said no because it was not his patient.

The surgery never took place. The two doctors were suspended for two weeks.

"This was something that was long time in coming," attorney Lee Goldsmith said.

The plaintiff's attorney said the incident doesn't surprise him. He's filing 11 different lawsuits against these doctors on behalf of other patients.

Those patients say Drs. Milhorat and Bolognese are performing something called tethered cord spinal surgery to correct a congenital problem called chiari malformation in the brain. The lawsuits claim the procedure simply doesn't work.

"The way they say it is if you do the tethered cord, the chiari will get better. It does not occur," Goldsmith said.

An attorney representing the doctors and North Shore Hospital calls these suits "outrageous" and "completely baseless."

He said, "Milhorat and Bolognese are two of the world's leading authorities on chiari malformation surgeries. And they've been doing this for their entire professional careers."

About the incident involving the patient left on the table, he says "when the whole story comes out, I think you'll see that everyone acted reasonably..."

Still, a spokesman for North Shore confirmed that "the hospital will take additional steps in the days and weeks ahead, to address all issues identified in the investigation, which is continuing."

Goldsmith is hoping the probe does continue so his clients, including a young child, get answers.

"She has chronic lower back pain, which she has never had before. She has instability of her lower spine," he said.

The girl is five-years-old.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

USEFUL LINKS:
  • VIEWER PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

  • REPORT TYPO

  • GET WIDGET

  • EYEWITNESS TWITTER

  • FIND US ON FACEBOOK



  • Load Comments