Brain surgery patient left in OR after doc no-show

  1. Least the docs were somewhat punished.

    GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - One of the highest-paid doctors in New York refused to perform brain surgery on an already-anesthetized patient whose scheduled surgeon had failed to show up, and the state health department is investigating

    The unidentified patient was under anesthesia, head shaved, but the 48-year-old Bolognese could not be found, the Daily News of New York reported on Wednesday, citing sources it did not identify.
    Staffers contacted Milhorat, who refused to do the surgery because the woman was not his patient. A North Shore spokesman said the woman later had successful surgery.
    Crain's New York, a leading business publication, identified Milhorat and Bolognese as among the New York City area's top medical earners in 2007, with Milhorat taking in $7.2 million and Bolognese earning $2.4 million.
  2. Visit libnat profile page

    About libnat

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 288; Likes: 161
    from US


  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Why was the patient even taken to the OR if the surgeon wasn't around? It doesn't matter if one of our surgeons calls and says he/she is pulling into the parking garage, we must see the whites of their eyes before the patient leaves preop.
  4. by   rubyrn36
    To be honest... I do not know if I would do brain surgery on a patient whose case I did not know ...etc etc...maybe he would not have recommended surgery to this patient etc...
    he is reponsible for his choices his behavior his practices...not another Dr
    UNLESS they are did not say if they where or not..
  5. by   cardiacmadeline
    I am not an OR nurse, so maybe someone can explain this to me. If a patient signed a consent for a specific doctor to do surgery on them, and the doctor does not show up as in the article, is it OK for another doctor to do the procedure without the patient knowing? Because the consent has another doctor's name on it? Can the family consent to that? I am just curious what the proper thing to do in this case. I know if I went in for surgery at my hospital excepting a certain surgeon to perform it and I found out a different certain surgeon (who I wouldn't let touch my dead dog) did the surgery without my knowing, I would be extremely upset.
  6. by   cardiacmadeline
    I too was also wondering why you would want to do brain surgery on a patient who don't know.
  7. by   Higgs
    Would a lawyer take on a complicated court case, without knowing anything about it, at the last minute as a stand in for someone who didn't show?
    Dont think so...the surgeon was doing the prudent thing, sorry to say.
  8. by   rubyrn36
    also wondering why the asnesthetist already had the patient under???
    How where they going to do the "Time out" before they inducted the anesthetic!!!!
    can you tell me your name???
    Mr so and so...what are you here for today...
    or are you here for blah...
    right pt...right site...
    infortunately when things like this happen...we see into the worlds of our opeers and see some of the corners they are cutting...
    That is exactly what I think ANY TIME I read abuot a transfusion mis match....
    did you check that with 2 RN's???
    or where you going to have your pod mate "sign it later"???
    I personally have caught wrong units etc that the blood bank mistakenly has given me...caught it when reading it off to another RN....
    there a reasons for the matter how painful they might be at times...our system has redundancy built in to avoid worst possible case scenarios...

    Can you imagine if Mr patient was asleep... and was there for one intervention and got another????
  9. by   Higgs
    '...Milhorat "is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on Chiari malformation, and his surgical expertise has benefitted thousands of patients around the world." '...

    ...presumably he turned up for these procedures...
    Last edit by Higgs on May 9, '09 : Reason: typo
  10. by   StrwbryblndRN
    I am interested in why. These docs are human and things happen. Unless I missed something there isn't a reason stated as to their explanation of why.
  11. by   YellowBoneRN
    How was the patient even consented without the surgeon being there to discuss the procedure, side effects, and outcomes with her prior to her being put down? This is insane. I am glad she did not have any bad things happen for after effects. Glad it was a good outcome after all for this patient.
  12. by   FireStarterRN
    I don't see why they didn't just remove the anesthesia and reschedule. Things happen, even to almighty brain surgeons. I think it's unreasonable to expect another doctor to drop everything and perform brain surgery on a case he has not reviewed.
  13. by   wooh
    Gotta agree, I actually find it quite prudent not to perform a complicated surgery on someone you don't know. I could see where it might be ok to do a last-minute fill in on a routine tonsillectomy or appendectomy. But as a patient, I'd want to know ahead of time who would be in charge of my brain surgery. Even if a "better" surgeon were asked to fill in, I'd want to know about it. And as a surgeon, I'd want to be familiar with the patient before I went cutting into their brain.
  14. by   NurseCard

    Honestly, I don't think I'd do surgery on a patient I didn't know anything about either!!! Especially brain
    surgery! Sorry, but it's not that doctor's fault, it's the fault of the one that didn't show up.

    I guess if it had been routine gallbladder surgery, or a tonsillectomy, or something like that? But brain
    surgery? Why should that doctor have walked right into the operating room and performed surgery on someone
    that he didn't know?

    Was it an emergency surgery? I mean, had there been a recent trauma? Was it an aneurysm that could rupture
    at any moment? Or was it a tumor that could wait maybe another day or two at least?

    I'm just not understanding why the other doc should have been punished. But I haven't read all of the replies yet.