A surgical team was caught mocking an unconscious patient before conducting surgery in Virginia. A Vienna man pressed the record button on his smartphone to save the post-procedure instructions uttered by his doctor before being wheeled into the Reston operating room. The recording continued while the man drifted off to sleep. What members of the medical team said while the man was unconscious now has them paying a bundle.
The male patient pressed play on the recording on his way home and was reportedly shocked at what he heard. The unidentified patient did not realize he had recorded the entire examination by the medical team before he was transported to surgery.
In addition to a long list of vicious comments about the unconscious patient, the doctors can also reportedly be heard telling a surgical assistant to "lie to him" and to write a "false diagnosis" on his chart.
"After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op," anesthesiologist Tiffany M. Ingham, 42, said over the sedated patient, "I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit." After deeming the patient a "big wimp," Ingham then said "People are into their medical problems. They need to have medical problems," lawsuit document indicate.
A medical assistant reportedly stated that the patient had a rash. The anesthesiologist is then heard warning her not to touch it, saying that the she might get "some syphilis on your arm or something." The anesthesiologist then added, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right."
When the medical assistant told the Virginia surgical team members that the patient had stated he got queasy when watching the needle being inserted into his arm, the anesthesiologist said, "Well, why are you looking then, retard?"
The unconscious patient sued members of the medical team for malpractice and defamation. The patient was identified only as "D.B." in the court records to preserve his privacy. After a 3-day trial, a Fairfax County jury ordered the anesthesiologist and her practice to pay $500,000 to the patient.
Tiffany Ingham reportedly worked out of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Ingham reportedly no longer works at Aisthesis.
The gastroenterologist who performed the colonoscopy, Soloman Shah, 48, was dismissed from the case. Court documents indicate that Shah did made "some insulting remarks."
"As long as it's not Ebola, you're okay," Shah was captured saying on the patient's recording, when referring to the rash. Shah also did not discourage Ingham from her "comments or actions," which included writing on the man's chart that he had hemorrhoids, when he did not, according to court documents.
"There was not much defense, because everything was on tape," juror Farid Khairzada said. He also added that the patient's attorneys were suing for $1.75 million. Khairzada said that the $500,000 award was the result of a compromise between a juror who felt the patient should not get a dime and and at least one who felt he deserved more. "We finally came to a conclusion that we have to give him something, just to make sure that this doesn't happen again."
What do you think about the court award and ruling against the Virginia surgical team mocking the unconscious patient?
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