Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Pattern of Quackery and a Dead Teen

Nineteen-year-old Christina Goesswein, ("Patient A" in medical board documents) was almost 23 weeks pregnant when she went to the office of Dr. Hachamovitch on October 17, 1990, and the first part of the three-day abortion procedure was started that day. She was sent home and told to return the following day to have her cervix dilated even further for the abortion, which would take place on the 19th.

She came back on the 18th and had more laminaria inserted then returned home. That evening, her boyfriend called the doctor's office because Christina was having cramping. He was told to give her pain medicine.

Christina's boyfriend called again several hours later because he felt that she was running a fever, but Christina told Dr. Hachamovitch's employee who was taking call that evening that she was okay.

Early in the morning of the 19th, the boyfriend called the employee again because Christina was experiencing heavy bleeding, cramping and vomiting. Christina stated that she felt that she was in labor. The employee instructed Christina to go to Hachamovitch's office where she and the doctor would meet her.

They all met at the office some time between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. After arriving at there, Christina lost control of her bowels. Hachamovitch then delivered her 24-week fetus in one piece.

Because Christina was not recovering as she should have, Dr. Hachamovitch decided to admit her to an area hospital, but before this could be done, Christina quit breathing and her heart stopped.

Somebody called 911 at about 4:20 a.m., and Dr. Hachamovitch began CPR. Christina was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m. on October 19, due to an amniotic fluid embolism.

Hachamovitch's license was suspended over his false documentation regarding administration of oxygen, and the Christina's blood loss, as well as numerous serious failures in his treatment of Christina both during the abortion and after she showed signs of complications. Among the problems:

  • His record-keeping was dangerously inadequate.
  • He failed to ensure that Christina got immediate care when she was displaying life-threatening complications, instead arranging for her to travel and meet him at his practice.
    He continued with an abortion in an outpatient setting even after observing for himself how dangerous Christina's condition was.
  • He didn't have any qualified staff assisting with the risky task of anesthetizing his patient.
  • He failed to promptly notice that Christina had stopped breathing and failed to resuscitate her properly.
Christina wasn't the only patient to lose her life due to Hachamovitch's unwillingness or inability to manage his practice. Two other patients, Tanya Williamson in 1996 and Luz Rodriguez in 1986, had died of malpractice under his care. Three patients died after abortions in clinics he owned and managed elsewhere -- Lisa Bardsley and Lou Ann Herron in Arizona and Jammie Garcia in Texas.

Sources: New York State Board For Professional Medical Conduct No. 93-127; State Board of New York Statement of Charges September 16, 1992; "History of trouble at clinics," Arizona Republic, January 17, 1999; United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Docket No. 97-9065; "Clinic head faces complaints," Arizona Republic July 15, 1998; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - 159 F.3d 687 (1998)

No comments: