The medical records of a former Poughkeepsie orthopedic surgeon showed that he would perform on average 17 surgeries a day. This is half of what a typical orthopedic surgeon would average in an entire month. This has raised some questions about administrative oversight and patient safety at the hospital where this doctor had practice privileges.
Dr. Spyros Panos would schedule nearly back to back surgeries in what would sometimes end up being 12 hour surgery days. Often he would have two patients under anesthesia at the same time. There were also three cases where he had two surgeries scheduled at the same time. Dr. Panos would also perform very short operations, one lasting only seven minutes.
In the multiple medical malpractice lawsuits against Dr. Panos, it is alleged that the hospitals where the surgeries took place failed to take notice, limit, and question the quality of surgeries the doctor was booking in one day. The hospital also failed to question the quantity of patients he was seeing, the spike in his billing, and the hospital ignored the warnings from its own employees regarding the doctor’s surgical practices.
Dr. Panos was eventually fired in July 2011. He has had 261 lawsuits filed against him since 2009. He is alleged to have botched surgeries, performed unnecessary surgeries on healthy patients, faking surgeries, and prolonging patients' ailments.
Typically the head of surgery at the hospital is in charge of the doctors with surgical privileges. The head of surgery is also part of the peer review process. During this process, a doctor could be asked about the frequency of a surgeons work and to justify his technique and judgment calls. Usually the chair of surgery can determine what is a reasonable length of time for a procedure and how long a surgeon should spend in surgery overall. The chairman could the say that cases are too short or too long or that the surgeon should be performing fewer surgeries. However, in the case of Dr. Panos it appears that this did not happen as he continued to practice the same number of surgeries every day for quite some time.
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