Friday, April 29, 2011

Anesthesiologist Behaving Badly

Would you want to be sedated by an anesthesiologist who was on probation from the state medical board? How about if he was once arrested for swinging a meat cleaver at a government official? That is the resume of Dr. Daniel Shin, an anesthesiologist who is implicated in the death of a patient after lap band surgery. The autopsy report on a patient who died three days after receiving her lap band at the Beverly Hills Surgery Center placed the blame on poor postoperative care by the anesthesiologist. It also details the troubled history of Dr. Shin.

In 2006 he was being served with some unspecified paperwork by a process server at his home. When Dr. Shin opened the door, he screamed, "Get the hell out of here!" at the man. He then swung a 6 inch meat cleaver at him. The server ran next door and called police who arrested the doctor. He was placed on three years probation by a judge who also ordered him to undergo anger management classes (you think?) and community service. The state medical board placed him on probation for two years and ordered a psychiatric evaluation but he did not lose his license.

All this sordid history is now being used by the family of the deceased to sue the surgery center. The report blamed the anesthesiologist for leaving the patient in Recovery Room with a nurse for 80 minutes when the doctor should have been there personally. The patient reportedly had severe obstructive sleep apnea requiring a machine to help her breathing (CPAP or BiPAP was not specified). Plus the ASA's own recommendations are for patients with severe OSA should only be operated on in a hospital setting, not an outpatient surgery center.

I can't defend Dr. Shin's actions with his meat cleaver, but it seems to me he left the patient in Recovery as a normal routine perianesthetic care. I've never read where a patient with sleep apnea requires the anesthesiologist to sit at bedside during the whole recovery process. If the recovery nurse failed to call Dr. Shin back to the patient's side quickly enough, that is not his fault. As far as having a hospital being the only place for sleep apnea patients to have surgery, that rule would probably shut down most of the surgery centers around town. Since this Beverly Hills Surgery Center specialized in bariatric procedures, this guideline would probably lead to its closure. 

Dr. Shin is currently on leave of absence from the surgery center.

1 comment:

  1. This is the same doctor that was arrested in March 2014 and is awaiting trial for alleged script fraud... gosh, isn't that interesting.

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