There are some medical devices that are routinely reused in common surgical and diagnostic procedures, such as surgical forceps, endoscopes, and stethoscopes. In order to avoid infection by contaminated devices, they must undergo “reprocessing” to clean and disinfect or sterilize them. In general these devices are safe, however if they are not properly sterilized they do pose a health risk. Unfortunately there are doctors who do not practice appropriate sanitary measures, leaving instruments and the environment contaminated, leading to an increased risk of hospital acquired infections.
One New York City plastic surgeon has been accused of failing to disinfect surgical instruments thoroughly, using discarded medical items, and flushing down the toilet fat from liposuction procedures instead of using the medical waste disposal company. The medical waste disposal company was only used from “time to time” because the surgeon considered it too expensive.
When it came to sterilizing surgical instruments in the autoclave it was only used once a month. Rather, after each use, staff used a toothbrush with a blue cleansing solution in a metal tray. This solution was only changed every 30 days. In addition, rather than discarding sutures that had been used in prior procedures they were cleaned with alcohol to be reused on other patients. The surgeon is also accused of leaving the operating room partway through surgeries, leaving a nurse to finish up.
Additionally, the surgeon is also accused of violating state law by dispensing Vicodin without prescriptions after the surgery. One patient got into an accident on their way home and cops found the drugs in the car.
If you or a loved one has suffered hospital infection as the result of surgeon’s failure to properly disinfect or sterilize medical instruments, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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