Saturday, February 9, 2008

South Carolina Vet Cuts Dog's Colon During GDV Surgery

Today's Bad Vet is Jerry Dorsam of South Carolina.

In October 2006 Dorsam signed a "consent" agreement with the Board in which he admitted that "he failed to meet the requisite standard of care in his treatment of "Jake" Lash, an eight (8) year old Bull Mastiff."

Dorsam diagnosed Jake with "gastric dilation and volvulus" -- GDV or "bloat" -- when he was brought into Mt. Pleasant Emergency Veterinary Hospital by his owner in September 2005. The next day he performed surgery on Jake.

Two days later, Jake's owner was concerned by drainage from the wound, took Jake back to Mt. Pleasant. Jake was kept overnight and then was sent to another hospital - Veterinary Surgical Care -- the following morning when Mt. Pleasant Emergency Veterinary Hospital closed.

A vet at the new hospital -- Henri Bianucci -- evaluated Jake and recommended exploratory surgery. It was then that Dr. Dorsam's serious surgical errors became evident.

Dr. Bianucci discovered that Jake's incision was ruptured, that "the colon was lacerated and had the remnants of a mattress suture in it adjacent to and apparently the cause of the laceration, the abdomen was filled with foul smelling effusion, and his spleen had a six (6) - eight (8) centimeter mass at the tail end." Jake went into a cardiac arrest on the table during this surgery and could not be revived.

Dorsam later, in a letter to the board, admitted that he failed to "pexy" Jake's stomach (I looked up that word -- it means surgical fixation of an organ) and that he had "involved" the colon during the procedure. He also admitted that he had inadvertently cut the colon which led to "leakage of the colon fluid into the abdomen, causing diffuse peritonitis. [Dorsam] admits that he failed to make every effort to practice veterinary medicine with the highest regard for the patient."

So, sounds like the vet basically killed this dog, right?

Poor Jake had crap flowing out into his stomach because his colon was cut.

So, how much regard did the Vet Board show the patient?

They fined the vet $500 and made him take some continuing education in surgery. And pay the cost of their investigation. But did they make him lose one day of work? Did they suspend him?