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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hey, Sorry About That Hole I Put In Your Colon...Want a Painkiller?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/DNO1967/ / CC BY 2.0
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967/ / CC BY 2.0
Imagine that a doctor inserts a thin tube into your intestines to poke around (a.k.a., a colonoscopy), then proceeds to...fall asleep.

This actually happened at Des Peres Hospital in 2003, and not because the physician was bored. Dr. Michael Impey was addicted to painkillers at the time. A few years later -- evidently still addicted -- he put a hole in a patient's colon during a procedure, requiring other surgeons to have to remove part of it (the colon). 

The patient -- John W. Campbell -- has sued Impey for damages. The jury trial is now beginning in St. Louis County.

What's at issue, apparently, is whether Impey's addiction to painkillers impaired his ability to perform the procedure, or was simply a private-life problem.

The Post-Dispatch had the story this morning; click here

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