On August 21, 2015, a Texas judge refused to lower the $600,000 bail set for a neurosurgeon who had practiced in Texas before his medical license was revoked in December 2013 as a result of the Texas Medical Board determining that the neurosurgeon had exhibited a pattern of failing to follow appropriate procedures before surgeries and failing to respond to complications that led to at least two deaths.
The 44-year-old former neurosurgeon faces five criminal counts alleging aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and a single count of injuring an elderly person that occurred at three Texas hospitals. The neurosurgeon has been in jail since his arrest on July 21, 2015.
It is alleged that the former neurosurgeon intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly performed spinal surgeries that severely injured four patients and resulted in the death of one patient. In addition, the neurosurgeon is reportedly under investigation for at least ten other surgeries that he allegedly screwed up that took place in Plano and Dallas, Texas, which placed his patients’ lives at risk (for example, it is alleged that he caused a patient to suffer major blood loss as a result of severing a major vein and then failed to take proper action to correct the mistake, and he left a surgical sponge in another patient after completing surgery).
The neurosurgeon reportedly wrote an email to his employee on December 11, 2011 in which he allegedly stated, “I am ready to leave the love and kindness and goodness and patience that I mix with everything else that I am and become a cold blooded killer.”
The Texas Medical Board’s June 26, 2013 Findings
On June 26, 2013, the Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended the neurosurgeon’s Texas medical license after finding that he had violated the standard of care with regard to four of his patients: he failed to recognize and treat a retroperitoneal hemorrhage in one patient, leading to the patient’s death; he inadequately diagnosed, planned, and managed a surgical procedure leading to excessive blood loss and the death of another patient; he demonstrated poor judgment and insufficient knowledge of a patient’s regional anatomy that led to his attempt to enter a disc space in spite of complications compromising the procedure, and he failed to manage severe postoperative complications (an esophageal injury and retained sponge), in a third patient; and, he failed to properly perform spinal surgery on a fourth patient, leading to excessive blood loss, cord compression that was not immediately corrected, and quadriparesis.
The Texas Medical Board also found that the neurosurgeon was unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety due to impairment from drugs or alcohol.
The Texas Medical Board’s December 6, 2013 Action
The Texas Medical Board and the neurosurgeon agreed to the revocation of his Texas medical license on December 6, 2013, for his violation of the standard of care with regard to six patients (however, the Board found no evidence that the neurosurgeon was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during procedures), but granted the neurosurgeon the right to apply for reissuance of his Texas medical license after one year.
If you or a family member may be the victim of medical negligence or incompetence in Texas, you should promptly find a Texas medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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