Friday, February 22, 2008

California Vet Allowed to Continue Practicing In Spite of Being Charged with 13 Violations Including Animal Cruelty, Unprofessional Conduct, & More

John Quick, a veterinarian practicing in Morgan Hill California, is yet another good example of a vet that the State Board has pretty much thrown the book at -- and YET they let him continue practising!

John Quick is the owner of Animal Care Center of Morgan Hill in California. In early 2007, he signed a "stipulated settlement" "admitting to the factual basis for the imposition of discipline based on [13] charges and allegations" the Veterinary Board filed against him. These charges are so egregious and shocking that they speak for themselves. They incude two charges of animal cruelty, circumstances surrounding the overdose of a patient, and actions that could have exposed humans and animals to his HIV-infected blood.

The 13 charges are summarized below, as taken from the California Veterinary Board's Accusations and charges:

First Cause for Discipline: Conviction

"[Quick] . . . was convicted of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of veterinary medicine, in that on November 12, 2004, [Quick] was convicted by the court on a plea of nolo contendere of . . . (wreckless driving) . . . in lieu of a violation of . . . (driving under the influence), in Monterey County Superior Court, Case Nmber MS225443, entitled People v. Quick, John Norman.

Second Cause for Discipline: Violation of Statutes Regulating Controlled Substances

". . . [Quick], on several occasions, obtained the drug Augmentin from the Animal Care Center Pharmacy, and provided and administered it to his daughter, Ashley Quick, to treat her strep throat. "

Third Cause for Discipline: Administering Controlled Substances to Self

[Quick] ". . . admittedly used cocaine and methamphetamine up until 2004, and has a history of chronic substance abuse. . . .[Quick] used alcoholic beverages in a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to himself and/or others . . . "

Fourth Cause for Discipline: Violation of the Veterinary Practice Act

[Quick] "is subject to disiplinary action under section 4883(c) of the Code, in that he failed to properly maintain patient records for "Junior," a 13-year old canine patient, who received surgery to repair a partially ruptured anterior cruciate ligamen on May 16, 2003. SAid records were lost or destroyed and were not available for inspection by the Board upon request."

Fifth Cause for Discipline: Violation of Regulations

[Quick] is subject to disciplinary action under section 4883(o) of the Code, in that his conduct as described in paragraph 19, above, further constitutes a violation of a regulation adopted by the Board, to wit: Title 16, California Code of Rgulations ("CCR"), section 2032.3(b) (failure to maintain animal patient records for at least three years).

Sixth Cause for Discipline: Violation of Regulations

[Quick] . . . "failed to appropriately observe and/or to provide properly supervised trained recovery personnel for Junior, who was recovering from general anesthesia. As a result of inadequate monitoring during initial surgical recovery, Junior sustained second and third degree burns afer coming in direct contact with heated saline bags. As a result of the burns, on or about June 11, 2003, Junior underwent debridement surgery, by Dr. Shanna Compton, DVM (an associated employed by respondent [Quick], and pain control medication was prescribed."

Seventh Cause for Discipline: Violation of Regulations

". . . Juniors prescription for pain control medication was improperly filled/compounded by a non-licensed technician employed by [Quick]. [Quick], by his own admission, was present when Junior's owner, a registered nurse, questioned the change in volume and appearance of the pain medication refill (Torbutrol). [Quick] heked the refill and instructed the unlicensed technician to dilute the medication and have Dr. Compton, an associate in the respondent's clinic, check the refill for accuracy. The improperly filed/compounded medication was neverthelss dispensed and Junior received a fatal dose."

Commentary: Can you imagine how that poor owner feels -- first they burn her dog to the point where he has to have a surgery, then, after this massive and painful screwup, the prescribe him "pain medication" which she then gives him a FATAL dose of because they compounded it wrong - using unlicensed staff and not properly supervising them? Imagine!

Eighth Cause for Discipline: Negligence

"[Quick] is subject to disciplinary action under section 4883(i) of the Code in that [his] conduct . . . constitutes a departure from the standard of practice of veterinary medicine."

Ninth Cause for Discipline: Unprofessional Conduct

"[Quick] is subject to disciplinary action under section 4883(g) of the Code (general unprofessional conduct) in that, while admittedly HIV positive, [he] did not practice universal safety precautions to prevent blood to blood and/or saliva contact between patients, clients, and/or employees. On one specific occasion in 2003, [he] intentionally smashed microscope slides, causing them to break and cut [his] hands. Respondent bled onto te slides and directed his employees, who were unaware that respondent was HIV positive, to clean up the mess. On said occasion, respondent backed Dr. Compton against a wall, got close to her face, and yelled at her, potentially exposing her to his saliva, which is considered to be potentially infectious, under certain conditions. More generally, [Quick] admittedly did not use gloves to protect humans and animals from any possible blood to blood transmissions."

Tenth Cause for Discipline: Animal Cruelty

". . . in 2002, [Quick] examined a poodle, Fritz, who had staples or stitches in his head, after having a mass removed. In the course of providing said examination, [Quick] continually bumped the dog's head, causing the dog to snap at and bite respondent, after respondent twicerefused his female employee's offer to muzzle the dog. AFter being bitten, [Quick] grabbed the dog by its choke chain and held it suspended over the examination table until its tongue and gums turned blue, and Fritz was gasping for breath. After the incident, Fritz was extremely aggressive whenever he visited the premises."

Eleventh Cause for Discipline: Negligence

"[Quick] is subject t disciplinary action . . . based on the conduct set forth in paragraph 25 above."

Thirteenth [sic] Cause for Discipline: Unprofessional Conduct

"[Quick] is subject to disciplinary action . . . based on the conduct set forth in paragraph 25, above.

Thirteenth Cause for Discipline: Animal Cruelty

[Quick] "took a bald eagle "Bumbles" to his home to care for him for approximately six months. [Quick] returned to the clinic with Bumbles after six months. Bumbles was extremely thin and malnourished. Bumbles was released to a local bird rescue group."

So, you would think -- with all of the dangers the board clearly believes he poses to humans and animals, they would put this vet out of practice once and for all, wouldn't you?

BUT OF COURSE THEY DIDN'T. Becase vet boards protect bad vets, not our pets.

They revoked his license -- BUT STAYED THE REVOCATION. That means he was free to go back to work immediately. Although they placed hi on probation with some terms, none of these terms will prohibit him from taking "care" of YOUR PET in his own special twisted way.

What in the world does a vet in California have to do to get his license revoked -- REALLY revoked? When will the State Vet Boards start taking dangerous vets out of practice?