Texas Hospital Halts Organ Transplant Program After Physician Accused of Manipulating Data

A Texas hospital has shut down its organ transplant program after discovering that a physician allegedly made “inappropriate modifications” to medical data that will have made sure sufferers ineligible for operations.

The Houston-based Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Middle, which beforehand operated a kidney and liver transplant program, has paused this system whereas an investigation unfolds into alterations made to a affected person database. In a statement shared with the Houston Chronicle, the hospital mentioned that the modifications impacted sufferers on a ready checklist for liver transplant operations.

Citing hospital officers, The New York Occasions has identified a extremely esteemed transplant surgeon, Dr. J. Steve Bynon Jr., because the individual alleged to have made the modifications to the database. The Occasions says that Bynon works for the College of Texas Well being Science Middle at Houston however is beneath contract to guide Hermann’s belly transplant program.

Based on the Occasions, the modifications concerned “unattainable” traits attributed to sufferers that made them ineligible for transplants:

When medical doctors place a affected person on the checklist, they need to determine the varieties of donors they’d take into account, together with the individual’s age and weight. Hospital officers mentioned they discovered sufferers had been listed as accepting solely donors with ages and weights that had been unattainable — as an example, a 300-pound toddler — making them unable to obtain any transplant.

There’s little readability about what might have motivated the physician to make these modifications. When reached for remark by Gizmodo, UTHealth offered an announcement that reads, partially:

Dr. Steve Bynon is an exceptionally gifted and caring doctor, and a pioneer in belly organ transplantation. Based on the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, Bynon’s survival charges and surgical outcomes are among the many finest within the nation, even whereas treating sufferers with higher-than-average acuity and illness complexity…Our school and employees members, together with Dr. Bynon, are aiding with the inquiry into Memorial Hermann’s liver transplant program and are dedicated to addressing and resolving any findings recognized by this course of.

Hermann-Texas Medical Middle didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The incident is now beneath investigation by the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers. “We acknowledge the severity of this allegation,” the H.H.S. instructed the Occasions. “We’re working diligently to handle this problem with the eye it deserves.”

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