Woman left on operating table is suing North Shore University Hospital over no-show docs

Jennifer Ronca, who was left out cold on an operating table after her surgeons failed to show, at her home in 2009.
The State Health Department let a Long Island hospital off the hook for abandoning a patient in the OR - even though it found the hospital broke a host of rules.
North Shore University Hospital faced fines as high as $28,000 after Jennifer Ronca was left out cold on an operating table after her surgeons failed to show.
But state officials declined to fine the hospital.
Ronca "was not harmed by the medical staff that day," Health Department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton said yesterday. "Inconvenienced, certainly, but nothing rising to the level of harm to her health."
"Our goal is compliance, not revenue. The plan of correction from North Shore gives us compliance with their own policies, regs and what our standards dictate."
Ronca, a 33-year-old mother of three from Pennsylvania, was put under anesthesia and prepped for brain surgery on April 10 to correct her Chiari malformation - a condition that causes terrible headaches and other debilitating symptoms.
Unbeknown to her, Dr. Paolo Bolognese was en route to a family vacation in Disney World the morning of the procedure, and Dr. Thomas Milhorat, his partner and the chief of neurosurgery, refused to cover. Milhorat told OR staffers he was busy and directed them to wake Ronca up and reschedule.
North Shore suspended the two prominent neurosurgeons for several weeks. Milhorat, 73, was forced to step down after the Daily News exposed the incident.
The Health Department slapped the hospital in September with 14 violations of the public health code, including its no-show surgeons, an anesthesiologist who put the patient under with no one to operate and lying to the patient.
In North Shore's plan of correction, which was accepted and released by the Health Department yesterday, the hospital disagreed with seven of the state's 14charges.
The hospital dismissed the surgery mishap as "a result of an unfortunate confluence of a few errors, not a 'systemic' failure resulting from the absence of bylaws or policies."
The department's decision not to fine the Manhasset institution was another slap in the face to Ronca, who is suing the doctors and North Shore's Chiari Institute.
"I cried again," Ronca told The News when she learned the hospital got off without a fine. "The Health Department never called me to hear the facts from me. It's just another betrayal."
Ronca said since the ordeal, she has suffered recurrent nightmares and pain that plunged her into a deep depression, for which she was hospitalized in October.
"I've had a lot of issues trying to come to terms with what they did to me. The Health Department just assumed there was no injury," she said.
hevans@nydailynews.com

0 comments:

OUR FACEBOOK FANPAGE

ADD US TO YOUR CIRCLE

There was an error in this gadget