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.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.