DIRTY DOC A ONE-MAN HEP-IDEMIC
By SUSAN EDELMAN
Infected at least 14.
Posted: 3:30 am
August 17, 2008
New York Post found HERE
A sloppy city anesthesiologist infected 14 patients with hepatitis B and C - and probably spread the liver-attacking viruses to at least 10 more, The Post has learned.
Dr. Brian Goldweber used the same syringe to give patients already infected with hepatitis a second dose from anesthesia vials. This "double dipping" contaminated the contents, which he then injected into other patients - spreading the virus, a city Health Department probe found.
Goldweber, a roving anesthesiologist in 10 medical offices across the city, gave a tainted sedative to "multiple patients" from bottles labeled for single-patient use, probers found.
He also used vials from one day to the next, despite handling instructions saying any opened medicine should be discarded after six hours, they found.
"This was a very serious outbreak - and it was preventable," said Dr. Sharon Balter, a city medical epidemiologist.
Goldweber, identified only as "Anesthesiologist #1" in a city report obtained by The Post, was suspended by the state Health Department last May pending a probe by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
He was previously put on probation for three years in 1999 after botching anesthesia in several cases and falsifying records, documents show. In 2002, he admitted lying on a job application.
Goldweber, who had no malpractice insurance, declared bankruptcy last October. He worked as a car salesman at White Plains Nissan for about a year, leaving that dealership several months ago for one on Long Island, he told co-workers.
A dozen sickened patients in Manhattan and Brooklyn are suing Goldweber, as well as Dr. Abbe Carni, the head of his anesthesiology group, and doctors who hired him.
Retired businessman Sam Bernard, 74, died on Oct. 10 after a bout with hepatitis B, which struck following an endoscopy by a Manhattan gastroenterologist who had hired Goldweber for the anesthesia.
"It's a very scary, devastating situation," said a 44-year-old Manhattan professional who was hit with hepatitis after a colonoscopy, requiring 48 weeks of treatment.