Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More on the Kline/Brigham mill in New Jersey

Dried blood, rust, dirt at clinic

After the initial inspection, the clinic was shut down immediately for “posing immediate and serious risk of harm to patients” because of violations such as the clinic’s absence of a sterilizing scrub sink, according to a letter from the state to Alternatives. The complete report released Monday claims abortion physicians did not scrub for procedures and used the scrub area for storage. An unnamed employee defended the violation to investigators, saying: “Abortions aren’t really surgery, they aren’t sterile procedures.”


Dr. Steven Chase Brigham, the owner of six abortion clinics in New Jersey whose medical license was revoked previously in two states, has said he was in negotiations to buy the resort clinic shortly before it was shuttered. Brigham already had begun paying employees and conducted abortions at the clinic June 8 and June 15. The report says that the facility did not have registered nurses working on those days, despite the state’s requirement.

The facility only employs two registered nurses and both have allowed their licenses to expire, one in July 2006 and the other in May 2007.
But nursing licenses weren’t the only things expired at the Pacific Avenue clinic.

Some medications, including a half-full container of silver nitrate and several IV fluids, were expired. One IV fluid expired Feb. 1, 2005. Also, endotracheal tubes used during anesthesia had expiration dates ranging from August 2002 to May 2004.


Investigators located a patient log that listed 37 minor complications and five major complications. Although details were not provided in the report, it does note one incident recorded as a perforation. None of the incidents was reported to the clinic’s medical director and administrator, as required by the state. The medical director, Dr. Stuart Sackstein, resigned the day after the clinic was closed. He could not be reached for comment at his Absecon office Monday.

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