Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pug Kodi Dies While in Care of "Hazard"-ous Banfield Vet

We have to stay with South Carolina today, to give an update to a bad vet story that has been on the net for a while.

In 2005, Jennifer Malecki took her beloved purebred pub, Kodi, to the Banfield Veterinary Hospital on Habison Boulevard in Columbia, South Carolina for a vaccine. Ms. Malecki informed the staff there that Kodi had suffered vaccine reactions in the past. Ms. Malecki left Kodi there in the care of veterinarian Angela Hazard.

Approximately 2 hours later Banfield called her to tell her that Kodi was dead.

Ms. Malecki filed a complaint with the Board in 2005, and the Vet Board then issued a formal complaint against Hazard.

In their formal complaint, the Board said:

". . . the allegations, if true, constitute professonal misconduct . . . on information and belief, Respondent has engaged in certain conduct that violates provisions of the South Carolina Veterinary Medicine Practice Act . . . and the rules and regulatons of hte Board, including commission of the following acts and their consequences:

A. On or about March 1, 2005, Respondent provided treatment to a male pug "Kodi" owned by Jennifer Maleki. Respondent had knowledge that the pug has suffered allergic reactions to vaccines in the past. Respondent provided vaccinations consisting of rabies, leptospirosis (4-way), distempter and corona at 9:45. There are no additional documented observations of the animal until 11:30. Respondent failed to document treatment of the patient between 9:45 and 11:30. Respondent further failed to properly monitor the patient subsequent within a reasonable interval after vaccinations of an animal known to suffer allergic reactions to vaccinations."

B. Respondent made attempts to treat the adverse reactions to the vaccinations. Respondent attempted to place an IV catheter. Respondent further provided subcutaneous injections of dexamethasone" [a steroid] "and diphenhydramine" [an antihistamine]. "Respondent did not attempt techniques such as endotracheal intubation" [which, I presume, would have kept Kodi's airway from closing up] "resuscitative medications, chest compressions, intracardiac administration of medications, or CPR. This conduct fails to meet the appropriate standard of care."

In her original response to this complaint, Hazard and her lawyer denied most of it. They called the death of Kodi "an intervening act of God or unavoidable natural occurrence" that was "not the result of any negligence on the part of Dr. Hazard." This was in September, 2006.

However, in April 2007, Hazard signed a consent agreement with the Board, admitting that "she failed to meet the requisite standard of care in her treatment of . . . "Kodi" as alleged in the Formal Complaint . . . "

Was Hazard knowingly lying when she denied responsibility and called the death of Kodi an "act of God?"

It seems evident that although she was told that Kodi had vaccine reactions, Kodi was nonetheless given vaccines and then not monitored for over an hour and a half.

Is that responsible?

Kodi had a reaction. Kodi died. Was that an "act of God" or the act of an irresponsible vet?

One thing I find interesting about the Board decision is that although they name Hazard they don't name the hospital at which this all happened -- Banfield. In some decisions, they do name the hospital. Why not here? Are they trying to protect the big bad corporate giant Banfield? Are they afraid of Banfield?

When a vet does something like this, is the vet alone responsible, or is the management of the veterinary hospital also responsible? After all, the Board notes that there is no evidence Kodi was monitored for over an hour and a half, even though he was known to have vaccine reactions. Who is setting the standards at these places?


The pet owner's account:,com_smf/Itemid,71/topic,257.0/

The Board Decision: