Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Two Deaths Under the Hands of "Hans"

Kaufman Texas vet, Hans Peterson, has track record that should give potential clients paws, er, pause.

"On November 14, 2005 [an owner] presented her cat "Emmitt" to Hans Peterson . . . for a neuter and declaw. Dr. Peterson anesthetized the cat using isoflurane. During surgery, "Emmitt" stopped breathing and Dr. Peterson was unable to revive him. Around 6:30 p.m., Dr. Peterson reported to [the owner] that the cat had died during surgery . . . the patient records for "Emmitt" do not contain the details of the surgery and anesthesia administration: weight and temperature, strength of medications, routes of administration of the anesthesia, and revival procedures."

All of the above comes from the veterinary board's findings. So tell me this -- when you read something like that, don't you wonder how much anesthesia the cat actually got? Whether any "revival procedures" at all were tried? A neuter is a very minor surgery -- cats shouldn't die doing neuters. Or declaws. So, given the fact that no weight or dosing have been recorded, don't you wonder whether or not the vet overdosed the cat on anesthetic? After all, with procedures of this kind, anesthesia is the greatest risk.

That wasn't the first death under Hans Peterson's hands that year under questionable circumstances. In June of the same year, another owner brought her cat "Wesley" to Peterson for treatment of a "plugged urethra and full bladder. Under anesthesia, Dr. Peterson relieved the plug and placed a tube in the urethra for 24 hours. The cat was sent home on June 8th. On June 21, [the owner] returned the cat to Dr. Peterson with the same problem. Dr. Peterson tried to relieve the obstruction but during the process the cat died."

Now, how vague is that?

The document further said: "Dr. Peterson noted the cat was toxic from uremia on the June 21st visit."

The Board found that "patient records for Wesley are incomplete and lack essential details. There is no indication of any attempts to determine the stability of the cat (hydration, temperature, azotemia, etc.). No fluid therapy was noted. There are no notes on case management, routes of administration of the anesthesia, and revival procedures."

Anesthesia? That's the first they mentioned anesthesia. Here we go again.

This vet was found only in violation of recordkeeping statutes, but these cases are a good example of the need to read between the lines in these cases. Usually, when boards find "recordkeeping" violations, much more serious things went on.

I wouldn't put my pets in Hans hands -- would you???