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Hospital rejects claims by U.S. patient

Dr James Johnson, Medical Chief of Staff at PMH, at yesterday’s press conference held at the hospital. 
Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Dr James Johnson, Medical Chief of Staff at PMH, at yesterday’s press conference held at the hospital.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

http://youtu.be/irTBf350Q20

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

MEDICAL Chief of Staff at the Princess Margaret Hospital Dr James Johnson yesterday denied that doctors “butchered” an American man while removing his appendix in January and said the patient received treatment “consistent with international standards and best practice”.

Dr Johnson was responding to an international report in which it was alleged that American Jake Beiersdorf was “gutted” during a surgery to remove his appendix in January, leaving him with “a foot-long incision that was not properly stitched”.

In a television interview with US television station Fox 9 news, Mr Beiersdorf also claimed that despite being told by Bahamian doctors that his appendix ruptured and needed to be removed, he discovered, when he later arrived at a Minnesota hospital, that his appendix “was still inside and was perfectly healthy.”

Mr Beiersdorf also claimed that after surgery in the Bahamas, doctors gave him about “13 loosely sewn, superficial epidermal stitches,” for an incision he later discovered required around 45 staples.

He also alleged that he spent four days in a disgusting room with about 15 people and his “bedding was never changed.” He also alleged that his dressings were changed in a “storage closet.”

During a press conference at the Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday afternoon, Dr Johnson said he was unable to give specifics on the case “as the hospital did not have permission from the patient to release medical information.”

However, Dr Johnson confirmed that a man from “Minneapolis, Minnesota” was treated at PMH on Thursday, January 7, for severe abdomen pain but refused to reveal the patient’s diagnosis, the type of surgery that was performed or whether or not doctors removed his appendix.

However, sources close to the case claim Mr Beiersdorf was diagnosed with “acute appendicitis” and “sections of his appendix showed ulcerated mucosa.”

Meanwhile, Dr Johnson said the patient was “satisfied during the five days” he spent at the hospital recovering and added that neither the Public Hospitals Authority nor the Princess Margaret Hospital received any complaints, verbally or written from the patient or anyone else since the surgery.

“We have a little difficulty in that we have not received any permission from the patient to release any personal information and so we thought it probably best not to reveal that personal information without permission,” Dr Johnson said. “The patient was assessed and treated on arrival and later admitted to hospital for surgical intervention. At surgery the condition discovered was consistent with the preoperative diagnosis. The care provided was consistent with international standards and best practice. He remained in hospital for a period of five days recovering as expected, given the preoperative diagnosis. The patient was discharged with medication, a follow-up appointment and a discharge summary on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.”

He added: “The Princess Margaret Hospital prides itself on having a cadre of doctors and clinicians who stand head and shoulders with their counterparts in the region and indeed the hemisphere.”

However, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr Hubert Minnis, the former minister of health, said he was told by his “physician counterparts at the hospital” that Mr Beiersdorf’s appendix was “gangrenous and he had pus in his chest cavity.”

“I spoke to senior physicians and they said the man’s appendix was removed and the pathology report confirmed that it was gangrenous and he needed a larger than normal incision to remove the pus from his chest cavity. His abdomen had to be washed, this is not strange procedure,” Dr Minnis told The Tribune.

At yesterday’s press conference, Chief Hospital Administrator Mary Walker denied that Mr Beiersdorf’s bandages were changed in a storage room.

She said: “We would never put a person in a closet to render care.”

She also said that no one from Fox 9 contacted the hospital for its side of the story.

Officials refused to comment on whether the hospital was pursuing legal action.

Comments

cmiller 8 years, 2 months ago

I am just hoping the real story will be revealed soon. Don't know what to believe.

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Stapedius 8 years, 2 months ago

Disgusting people. We all know PMH has some issues with resource and facilities. But I believe we have the best doctors in the world. Give them the resource and training and they can do just a well or even better than other health systems. I don't believe this man's story. No complaints before leaving and then all of a sudden when he lands home he tries to tear down our doctors. Unforgivable.

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Chucky 8 years, 2 months ago

Are you for real Stapedius? Have you ever had a tire fixed, or had a room painted, or had something else fixed here? We can't even get people to patch a tire properly , regardless of training, we have systemic "I don't care" syndrome ! Everyone knows too much and cares too little! It's not to say we don't have some good doctors, or some people good in every discipline, but we certainly are no shining stars on the world scale. It's a nice sentiment, but we train and train and train our people and end up with the same old 6 & 4; half ass results!

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flamingoman 8 years, 2 months ago

How convenient that they are "unable" to release any information. I understand that there are certain laws...but if he really is lying...than you would think that someone would be investigating for PMH and then prosecute him for defamatory comments. The lack of desire on their part to do that should show that there is something that they are hiding! Where are our news reporters traveling to Minnesota to interview the other hospital??? This will be like everything else just swept under some rug.

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TalRussell 8 years, 2 months ago

Comrades I will take the word of Dr James Johnson, Medical Chief of Staff at PMH, along with the pathology report, over that of the twister of facts Minnesotaian.
This matter, at minimum, should be turned over to the attorney-general, to expose the truth, considering the tremendous negative financial damage it can bring to our vital tourism industry, if left to go unchallenged.
Did the Minnesotaian have a work permit to work at the Poker Tournament?
Aren't there detailed hospital billing records that can be released to the media, without infringing uponbthe PMH's patent confidentially?
How much does the Minnesota owe Bahamaland's taxpayers. and why are you not billing his alleged employer?
A government official should have immediately been dispatched to interview staff at the Minnesotian hospital to get their side of the story.
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's a setup job.

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banker 8 years, 2 months ago

Dunno: I have an appendix-removal scar that is an inch and a half long. Done at Johns Hopkins when I was traveling on business. The scar now is barely visible - just a thin line in the skin.

45 staples in your gut isn't worth faking it. Sent the link to a physician friend. He says that the incision is in the wrong place. Experienced surgeons find the spot "McBurney's point" by placing a thumb on the hip bone and the second finger (the up-yours finger) into the naval, and folding down the pointing first finger in the middle. Where the first finger lands is the exact point and direction of the incision called the McBurney's point, and it should be no longer than the first two joints of the finger.

My physician friend said that it is a complete hack job. Probably given to an intern, resident or junior doctor to gain some practice.

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My2cents 8 years, 2 months ago

What about when the appendix is "gangrenous'? And pus has to be removed from the chest cavity? What does that scar look like?

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Chucky 8 years, 2 months ago

Way to go TalRussell you just keep on blindly defending everything! Its good that you bring up the work permit issues, because I'm sure in your twisted mind , if someone doesn't comply , they deserve any form of sick and twisted consequence that happens to them.
Don't get me wrong, it's great that you are so patriotic, but if you actually want to be sincere and do something for the country you better open your eyes and mind. You should try and learn to accept where you are and accept how things really are. The first step is admitting a problem. Once you can admit we are at near rock bottom, you can cheerlead all you want, but to actually make a difference it requires actions. Not the BS actions you continually spew out with your keyboard, but rather, real genuine efforts to actually improve things in our country. Until you do something, you are just a dribbling bafoon spewing your blind faith party politics. And FYI, people like you are as much of a problem as the people who commit all the crime and corruption here. You are an enabler.
You can either do something to fix the problems, or continue being one of the many enablers to those who are the problem!

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DillyTree 8 years, 2 months ago

This one should be really simple to sort out.

  1. PMH claims they have the man's appendix, and are prepared to test for DNA to prove it came from this patient.
  2. MN hospital claims to have seen the man's appendix still in him and it was healthy.
  3. As far as I know, each person has only 1 appendix.
  4. Where is the missing appendix???

Easy!

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TalRussell 8 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Dilly no telling how many appendix's some unidentified alien could have show up at PMH with?
Did this Alien have a work permit to work at a poker tournament on Paradise Island?
If he was indeed employed why hasn't the PMH demanded of his poker tournament employer to pay the damn hospital bill?

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My2cents 8 years, 2 months ago

Did the hospital make the claim or did he? I don't believe they are legally able to discuss a patient's condition.

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Wideawake 8 years, 2 months ago

Appendix(s) show and tell time???

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Alexander44Johnson 8 years, 2 months ago

One of the saddest parts about this story is the Bahamians (us) who live in the Bahamas and depend on these Health Care Providers find it so easy to throw them under the bus - this is my frustration. And you wonder why the foreigners are taking over the Bahamas because Bahamians will find any reason to slander each other. I don't care what you say we have the best health care providers in all of the world and it is our duty to stand united with them in the international matter. Now the world is reading all the foolishness Bahamians are posting about their own and we have become the laughing stock once again because we do not support is. America is not always right and a liar can come from any city, state or country...we must spend time focusing on and building what we have and stop allowing people to say anything about us and we defend THEM instead of US. ...

See how the world marks the manner of your bearing! Pledge to excel through love and unity. Pressing onward, march together to a common loftier goal;

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Chucky 8 years, 2 months ago

Alexander44Johnson-high on false assumptions: are you for real? Have a look around, you know , open your dam eyes. How many people have you seen about Nassau with scars that are generally 3 times as large as the wound they done go to the hospital to have fixed. Our healthcare is a disaster, thus the fact, than anyone who can afford insurance to have procedures performed in the USA does have the same coverage. Sure we can get into a doctor quick, but as for the best care, you can go ahead and have all the large scars and sloppy surgery you want done here. Keep drinking the cool aide but the sad reality is that we are no leaders in any field. Well perhaps, we lead the "race to the bottom". Don't let your patriotism cloud your judgement; being a patriot is respectable, talking fool just makes you look like an idiot!

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asiseeit 8 years, 2 months ago

I take this story with a grain of salt. If the guy is truthful release ALL relevant medical records pertaining to being "butchered".

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Chucky 8 years, 2 months ago

Why so surprised "asiseeit", have you not noticed how many people have scars that are so large it looks like the wound they had must have been from a chainsaw? Doctors here must pride themselves in how big a scar they create when they stitch you up! Scars bigger than the wounds. Can't believe anyone if doubts this story in any way. I'd rather swim to the USA bleeding than trust surgery here.

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