When a doctor makes a mistake, it can result in a serious health problem or even death.

Seattle anesthesiologist reportedly sexted in the operating room

When doctors behave poorly, patients suffer the consequences.

Doctors are entrusted to “first, do no harm.” When we must undergo a medical procedure, we must rely on our physician to provide the best possible care and act professionally during the operation. Sadly, not all medical professionals take their responsibilities as seriously as they should.

Recently, an anesthesiologist in Seattle had his medical license suspended when it was discovered that he allegedly sent inappropriate text messages while in the operating room.

According to health officials in Washington, the doctor sent around 250 texts – including sexually explicit photographs – from April to August 2013 while he was involved in surgical procedures. The Washington state Department of Health reported that he sent inappropriate messages while involved in:

  • Pediatric appendectomies
  • Cesarean sections
  • Epidurals
  • Cardiac-probe insertions
  • Tubal ligations

He has since been accused of compromising the safety of his patients and his privileges at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle have been suspended.

Unfortunately, this is not the only type of bad behavior exhibited by doctors in the operating room across the country.

Report finds surprising number of doctors practice while under the influence

According to a government report, a shocking number of medical professionals practice medicine while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The government estimates that a minimum of 100,000 physicians are addicted to alcohol or drugs. In other words, one out of every 10 practicing doctors in the United States is suffering from a substance abuse issue.

A Today investigative report found one surgeon who allegedly operated on patients while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Witnesses reported that he drank alcohol while on the job and others claimed he used cocaine and LSD. Lawsuits filed against the surgeon indicate two patients died following operations he performed, while others maintain his surgical errors left them partially paralyzed.

When doctors act unprofessionally, report to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol or engage in other inappropriate behaviors on the job, patient safety is compromised. The likelihood of a medical error increases when the medical professionals responsible for the patient are not completely focused on providing the best possible standard of care.

If you have been harmed due to a doctor’s negligence, you should hold the physician responsible for the damage he or she caused. You should first consult with a skilled personal injury attorney, who will take action to ensure you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: surgical errors, doctors