Surgeons suspended after staff piled into operating room to photo patient with object stuck in their genitals
BY DAVE BURKE 15 SEP 2017
An official investigation found that curious medics in Pennsylvania, USA – who had no reason to be in the room – packed around the patient, and intrusive pictures quickly circulated around the hospital.
One physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Bedford Memorial hospital said, according to an official report : “At one point when I looked up, there were so many people it looked like a cheerleader type pyramid.”
An outraged member of staff raised an official complaint.
As a result a nursing director is being replaced, while two doctors were suspended, one of 28 days and the other for seven days.
The unnamed patient is described as having a “foreign body” inserted in their genitals.
One surgeon told a panel that they ran to the operating room after word circulated about the injuries.
They admitted snapping pictures and sharing them with their spouse, the report reveals.
Investigators said a ‘ton’ of hospital staff piled into the room as the patient lay unconscious (stock image) (Image: Getty)
The witness said there was “quite a crowd” and continued: “I had nothing else scheduled for the rest of the day so I stayed and watched.
“I did not have a purpose to be in there. It was shear (sic) curiosity. I did take pictures and shared them with my spouse.”
Another witness said there were a “ton” of people in the room, while a further medic described it as a “circus”.
The hospital was cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for failing to protect the patient’s confidentiality, allowing people into the room who weren’t involved in her care, and allowing them to take pictures on personal devices.
It happened on December 23 last year, and the complaint was made in January.
One doctor claimed to have needed to take pictures for medical research, and said the camera in the operating room was broken.
The report found out this wasn’t the case, although it was “complicated” to use.
A statement from the hospital to Penn Live said: “The behavior reported in this case is abhorrent and violates the mission of UPMC Bedford and the overall values of UPMC.
“Upon discovery, UPMC quickly self-reported the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and took appropriate disciplinary action with the individuals involved.”
It said a number of measures had been introduced to ensure it never happens again, and said the patient had been alerted.