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Sparrow Hospital Infections Problem

5 comments

A nurse anesthetist named Jonnie Vanderhoef filed a complaint with the state of Michigan, claiming that Dr. Raymond Phillip Allard, an orthopedic surgeon who works for Sparrow Health System and Sparrow Carson Hospital, has a complete disregard for patient safety and an exceedingly high infection rate.   Specifically, Vanderhoef claims that Dr. Allard’s medical practices have resulted in at least 18 infections related to surgeries he performed, including severe, chronic wound infections that have occurred in several of his total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients.  Vanderhoef further claims that Dr. Allard had been demonstrating an increasing number of bizarre and alarming behaviors, including intentionally leaving surgical sponges inside an infected surgical wound and then closing it.  The hospital was aware of what Dr. Allard had done, and ordered Dr. Allard to take the patient back to the operating room to remove the sponges.

Not only was Dr. Allard not fired, but Sparrow Carson Hospital knowingly and willfully concealed Dr. Allard’s dangerous surgical activity, according to Vanderhoef’s complaint.  Dr. Allard has been employed by Sparrow Health System and Sparrow Carson Hospital for 9 years.

Sparrow Health System’s egregious behavior doesn’t just include covering up Dr. Allard’s negligence and complete disregard for patient safety; Sparrow Carson Hospital terminated Vanderhoef the day after the hospital received word that his complaint had prompted an investigation into Dr. Allard and Sparrow Health System by the state of Michigan.

In fact, Dr. Allard has been investigated by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) at least 4 times before.  In 2016, a complaint prompted LARA to issue a subpoena to Sparrow Carson Hospital and Dr. Allard for a patient’s medical records.  In 2014, LARA investigated Dr. Allard’s medical education history because he made several misrepresentations to one or more medical boards.

The current investigations by LARA have found that Sparrow Carson Hospital is not compliant with infection control standards.  This means that the hospital could lose its Medicare partnership with the federal government.

With medical errors being the third leading cause of death in the U.S., this is an especially important story.  Sparrow Carson Hospital fired a healthcare provider who was simply trying to make the hospital safer for patients.  Sadly, research shows that when a physician or other healthcare provider’s preventable mistakes are brought to the attention of senior hospital staff, hospitals often fail to take any disciplinary action, and they often fail to implement policies and procedures to prevent the medical mistake from occurring in the future.  Physicians much like Dr. Allard are often not fired when their mistakes are brought to light.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Church Wyble, P.C. have spent decades uncovering medical mistakes and fighting for justice for victims of medical mistakes.  If you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, please contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Church Wyble, P.C.

5 Comments

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  1. Robert Hoag says:
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    Dear Sirs, while I certainly appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of your post, I must in good faith, speak on behalf of Dr. Raymond Allard. Dr. Allard has performed a Left Rotator Cuff Repair, 2-Right Rotator Cuff Repairs, 1- Right Carpel Tunnel Release, a Right Knee Scope and a Right Total Knee Replacement. I believe and trust Dr. Allard so much that my wife has had 4-
    Rotator Cuff Repairs, my daughter has had 2- knee surgeries and my son has had 2- Rotator Cuff Repairs. I give you this information to say, Dr. Allard provides extensive Pre-Op and Post-Op instructions including wound care. Orthopedic surgery is unlike any other type of surgery, in that the surgeon is cutting skin, muscle, and bone. a person could never be more susceptible to an infection. Based on personal experience, having a combined 13 orthopedic surgeries with Dr. Allard. I must say he provides extensive Pre-Op and Post-Op instructions. it is a list of do’s and don’ts if will. I can only imagine those complaining of infection, failed to follow the Doctors instructions. Dr. Allard and his staff explain in great detail how to avoid infection, both prior to surgery and after. If you will research Dr. Allard, you will find he has an infection rate of 1.3%, which is far below the national standard. (That is 1.3 patients out of 100). Dr. Allard was “Recertified” just last Fall by the Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. You of course realize that meant randomly scrutinizing hundreds of patient files and actually observing him in surgery. No violations, or unsafe practices were noted. Dr. Allard is a man of honor and integrity. He is a doctor that treats his patients, as he would his own family. If people would follow the simple given instructions provided by Dr. Allard and his staff they would not experience these awful infections. Dr. Allard even tells his patients, “If it looks red, inflamed, gets hot, or has drainage call my office”. There is no reason for infection, short of the patient themselves. Dr. Allard is available on-call 24/7 through his staff, or the hospital ER.
    I do not know Jonnie Vanderhoef, nor do I believe his claim, as it seems to be a personal vendetta against this doctor. I do however, know Dr. Allard, he is a man of impeccable character. He is a man of honor and integrity, a man I trust with my life, a man I trust with my family.

    Robert and Rita Hoag
    989-304-1287
    godteambob@gmail.com

  2. David says:
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    Robert and Rita, I thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment. I am glad you had a positive experience. I do not know either of the people in my safety blog post.
    I do feel an obligation to alert the community of concerns I read about and now have had 1st hand accounts. I have seen this type of unacceptable medical practice before.
    I don’t make the facts, I only deal with them accordingly.
    David

  3. Monica says:
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    I was a patient at the Lansing Sparrow Hospital and not a patient of Dr. Allreds but I can attest to their infections. I was sent to Lansings Mary Free Bed inside Sparrow for rehab after having major oral cancer surgery. After being in their for 4 days I got an infection that turned my face black! A bandage was put over it and left there untouched, not checked for several days. It wasn’t until my mother asked for something to clean my teeth with, due to the stench she smelled coming from my mouth/face, that she was shown the infection. Needless to say she came unglued seeing her daughter’s face black with infection. My doctors reaction was “We can’t do anything about it take her home. She’ll be just fine”. Well I went by ambulance to my doctors office at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit the next morning. One look at me and my surgeon delayed the surgery be was on his way to and immediately started removing the black infection. Needless to say i had to go back to the operating room the next day and have their work removed. Due to their negligence I had 5 more surgeries and 3 extra weeks in the hospital. I tried suing them but that went nowhere. Did you know that the most you can be awarded in a malpractice suit is $440,000.00. The medical field has slipped in that law that we were unaware of! I guess it pays to have money.

  4. Monica says:
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    Also, Sparrow is 5th in the NATION for infections! Not the state but the nation.

  5. Tracey Cornell says:
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    I just read your article on Sparrow Carson City Hospital. I worked for this institution for a brief time in 2012-2013, prior to their being acquired by Sparrow Health System. I was appalled and horrified by the surgical techniques and standards being provided at this hospital. The campus doesn’t provide a conducive work environment, and overlooks/disregards complains of lateral workplace violence. During my short time there, it was evident that employees were fast tracked into positions that they were not formally trained or qualified for. One example being, the OR director had her son enrolled in an online surgical assistant program and working in this capacity in the OR’s. Literally employees could be “trained on the job” for positions that most healthcare institutions require a formal training and or licensing for. I was the only formally trained employee functioning as a Surgical Technologist (I completed my degree in 2011 at Lansing Community College and passed by board exam providing my credentialing in 2011). Most of my peers had not taken an anatomy class post high school, much less a course in infectious diseases or aseptic technique. Because of the work environment and the social structure of the units, even the most educated, experienced medical professionals were not able to direct and provide safe, quality healthcare due to the incompetency of the staff with whom they had at their sides while operating.

    Thank you for taking the time to put a spotlight on the importance of Certified Surgical Technologists, as currently my fellow colleagues and I are seeking regulations be put into place in our state requiring certification. Other states have already implemented such regulations. With the growing need of safe, affordable healthcare in our area it is of utmost importance that “Agear Primo” (patient first, the Surgical Technologist’s motto) is first and for most for every patient, every time.