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Nevada Reinstates License of Doctor Charged with Reusing Disposable Biopsy Instruments

A Las Vegas urologist has had his medical license reinstated after reusing disposable needle guides, according to KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. The doctor was charged with instructing his staff to use the "single-use only" needles guides up to five times before disposing them. The needle guides are using in urological procedures such as prostate biopsies. In March, the doctor admitted to reusing the equipment. The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners reinstated the urologist's license in April. However, there are restrictions on his license: he can only perform procedures with a third party present, and his office will be subject to random site inspections. Just how often the Board of Medical Examiners will actually inspect the doctor's office was not spelled out.

The president of a local medical society noted that this doctor "made a really terrible error of judgment." Apparently the doctor claimed that a medical device vendor had told him that it was all right to reuse the needle guides. Neither the Board of Medical Examiners nor the medical society president agreed. "Regardless of what they told me, it is my responsibility to protect my patients and the public," noted Dr. Mitchell Forman, president of the Clark County Medical Society. "That's where it ends."

The Medical Malpractice Charges

According to KTNV, the doctor is still charged with misuse of the needle guides and failure to use reasonable skill, care, and knowledge in the treatment of more than 100 patients. When the Board of Medical Examiners reaches a final decision, the doctor's license may be revoked permanently or suspended for a period of time. He also faces further unspecified sanctions. Yet, with his license restored, he will be able to continue practicing medicine until his case is decided.

Advocates for limiting medical malpractice cases often claim that the medical profession does a good job of policing itself. Whether these claims are accurate or not, the fact remains that there are doctors who fail to meet reasonable standards of medical care. If you believe that you or a family member has been injured due to the negligence of a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.