New Jersey pediatrician has license suspended for unsanitary office conditions

A New Jersey doctor has been suspended from practicing medicine after investigators found unsanitary office conditions.

The Attorney General's office filed a complaint involving Dr. Emmanuel J. Francois, an Irvington pediatrician, after finding unsanitary conditions at his pediatric practice.

Pending a hearing on those charges, the doctor agreed to a temporary suspension.

A compliance inspection in June by the state's Vaccines for Children Program found "extreme uncleanliness of office, improper disposal of bio hazardous materials" and problems in "storage and handling of vaccines," state officials said.

Authorities say a subsequent investigation revealed additional violations including that the doctor allegedly did not wear protective gloves while treating patients, did not wash his hands or use hand sanitizers before or after each patient visit.

In addition, a joint investigation allegedly revealed vials of blood, not properly labeled, were thrown in drawers with old and new supplies while others were found in plastic bags in a closet, these vials were never processed and analyzed by a laboratory, and used open syringes were found throughout the examination room and in storage rooms. A stool sample found in the refrigerator lacked a note as to the collection date.

"Patient safety is the cornerstone of the physician-patient relationship, and we allege that Dr. Francois did not put the safety of his patients first," said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. "We are committed to ensuring that physicians and their facilities comply with all sanitation, hygiene and other patient safety requirements, and will hold accountable any practitioners who fail to do so."

Dr. Francois's patients range in age from newborns to 18 years old. Approximately 90 percent of his patients are Medicaid patients.
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