An East Brunswick, New Jersey, surgeon had his license temporarily suspended for allegedly reusing single-use anal catheters on dozens of his patients.
According to TapInto East Brunswick, a complaint filed by the state accused Dr. Sanjiv K. Patankar of washing and reusing catheters that were inserted into patients’ rectums during anorectal diagnostic testing. Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced the suspension, claiming that the New Jersey-based colon and rectal surgeon put his patients’ health and safety at risk.
NJ.com reported that the State presented evidence last month showing that 82 procedures were performed in Dr. Patankar’s office between January 1 and November 30–yet only five catheters were ordered during that period.
Officials said the single-use catheters were used to assess patients with various disorders, including fecal incontinence and constipation. The State accused the doctor of recycling them because replacement catheters were ordered but they hadn’t arrived, according to MyCentralJersey.com.
The State also claimed that Dr. Patankar told his medical assistants to wash the catheters in soap and water before soaking them in a bleach mixture for 30 minutes. From there, the dry catheters were allegedly put in their original packaging for reuse. The doctor instructed his medical assistants to keep using the instrument–even when it began to deteriorate due to constant beaching, officials said.
“It is appalling that a doctor would engage in such an unsanitary and dangerous practice,” the Attorney General said in a statement.
“Through his alleged conduct, Dr. Patankar has demonstrated a reckless disregard for public safety that placed countless patients at risk of communicable diseases.”
Dr. Patankar’s license will remain suspended pending a full hearing in the state Office of Administrative Law and until the Board of Medical Examiners reaches a final determination.
“Dr. Patankar’s alleged conduct not only violates professional standards, it reveals an alarming lack of judgment that calls into question his fitness to practice,” Sharon Joyce, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, told TapInto.
“By temporarily suspending his license, the Board fulfilled its duty to protect the public from this practitioner while these very disturbing allegations are pending.”
[Featured Image: Pixabay]