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New York obstetrician loses medical license for misconduct

An obstetrician formerly employed at an upstate hospital can no longer practice medicine in New York. The Department of Health's Board of Professional Medical Conduct sustained charges of misconduct in a pair of cases in which he cared for diabetic patients.

In both cases, the babies died. A spokesperson for the Lockport hospital where the doctor had worked said he has not been employed by the facility in more than four years.

In one case, the obstetrician was providing gynecological and obstetrical care to a 16-year-old diabetic patient. She was in early labor at 23 weeks. He reportedly ordered the nursing staff to induce birth of the baby who was not expected to survive. He then left.

Forty-five minutes after delivery, the baby was pronounced dead. Several hours later, the doctor visited the patient, but did not examine her or document his visit, the board determined.

The following morning, he ordered the patient discharged, falsely claiming on the discharge order that he had examined her.

The board said there was no evidence that the doctor discussed his decision to leave with the patient's family or that there was agreement among his hospital peers that he need not be present for the delivery.

In the other case, two urine tests identified elevated glucose levels in a 27-year-old patient. The doctor failed to test, evaluate or manage her blood sugar levels during multiple visits with her.

When the patient returned for a visit, she complained of pain, nausea and vomiting and had lost 15 pounds in the two weeks since her previous visit. She was then about 29 weeks pregnant, yet the doctor did not test her blood sugar levels.

The next morning, she was admitted to the hospital where he worked. She was then transferred to a Buffalo hospital, where staff determined that she was in diabetic ketoacidosis.

She underwent a Caesarian section, but the baby died four hours later.

The board sustained two charges of gross negligence, one charge of gross incompetence and determined that the obstetrician had failed to maintain records. It also sustained a charge of fraudulent practice.

Those who face unwarranted, frivolous, or otherwise baseless allegations can speak with a New York health care law attorney experienced in vigorous defense in physician licensing issues and related matters.

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