Fri Jun 28, 2013, 04:19 PM
TexasTowelie (25,508 posts)
Dr. Christopher Duntsch, Plano Surgeon Suspended for Killing Patients, Gets Sued for Malpractice
All things considered, Mary Efurd is one of the lucky ones. She walked into Dr. Christopher Duntsch's Texas Neurosurgery Institute in Plano on July 25, 2012 and emerged with her life. The same can't be said at least two of his former patients, who died after Dunstch botched their surgeries, according to the Texas Medical Board.
Still, Efurd doesn't feel particularly lucky. She went in for a posterior lumbar interbody fusion, a rather routine procedure that eases pain caused by stopping the motion between two vertebrae. She came out in a wheelchair and with thousands of dollars in medical bills from surgery to fix Duntsch's mistakes.
There were 38 mistakes to be exact, according to a lawsuit Efurd filed this week in Dallas County court, most significantly when he severed an important spinal nerve with a screw. This left Efurd with bilateral foot drop and quadriceps that were partially paralyzed. She is now mostly confined to a wheelchair, she says in her lawsuit.
Surgeons, just like everyone else, make mistakes, but Efurd, like the Texas Medical Board before her, says Duntsch's negligence was beyond the pale. The lawsuit describes the scene of her surgery:
Medical personnel in the operating room with Dr. Duntsch voiced their concerns about his care and treatment of Ms. Efurd, but Dr. Duntsch did not listen to or respond to their concerns. In addition, concerns were raised by the operating room team that Dr. Duntsch seemed to be "distracted" and "disoriented." At one point, he broke scrub and left the operating room. When he returned to the OR, witnesses observed him to have "lost focus." In addition, certain personnel who were in the operating room with Dr. Duntsch commented that one explanation for his behavior may have been that he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
More at http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/06/dr_christopher_duntsch_plano_s.php .
3 replies, 1404 views
Dr. Christopher Duntsch, Plano Surgeon Suspended for Killing Patients, Gets Sued for Malpractice (Original post)
Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)
Wed Aug 26, 2015, 02:20 PM
Blue_Tires (45,016 posts)
1. Update: Arrested (finally)
Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #1)
Wed Aug 26, 2015, 04:29 PM
TexasTowelie (25,508 posts)
2. The judge also refused to lower his bail because he is considered a flight risk.
Long before he faced lawsuits and criminal charges, a North Texas neurosurgeon emailed one of his employees.
“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,” Christopher Duntsch wrote.
To authorities, the chilling Dec. 11, 2011, email points to Duntsch’s mind-set in the months before he “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” botched spinal surgeries, severely injuring four people and killing one woman, Floella Brown, who died in July 2012.
The email was among new evidence Dallas County prosecutors presented against Duntsch at a hearing Friday in which Criminal District Judge Carter Thompson refused to reduce Duntsch’s $600,000 bail.
“I am very well-pleased that he will remain in jail and that justice will eventually be served for the crimes that he has committed,” said Philip Mayfield, 45, who awoke paralyzed from the neck down in April 2013 after Duntsch performed surgery on his spine.
More at http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/headlines/20150821-surgeon-who-wrote-of-becoming-killer-is-denied-bail-reduction.ece