PRMC Cardiologist Resigns Amidst Scandal - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

PRMC Cardiologist Resigns Amidst Scandal

Peninsula Regional Medical Center Peninsula Regional Medical Center

03/07/2007 8:27 AM ET; 2:27 PM ET

SALISBURY (WBOC/AP)- A cardiologist with a vision problem may have performed unnecessary heart stent surgeries on at least 25 people, Peninsula Regional Medical Center officials said.

The hospital is reviewing the operations conducted by Dr. John R. McLean, and it has hired an outside consultant to conduct an independent investigation, hospital officials said in a statement Wednesday.

McLean's vision problem may have led him to misdiagnose arterial blockages and order the procedures, hospital officials said. According to the hospital's initial probe, many of McLean's patients did not have blockages of 70 percent or greater- the minimum before a patient is considered for a stent.

The hospital issued a written apology to patients and said it will repay all fees for the unnecessary surgeries to patients and their health insurance providers. "We sincerely regret this unfortunate event," the statement said.

Officials also say McLean was solely responsible for the medical decisions which led to the placement of these stents. This issue involved patients of McLean only and does not involve any other cardiologist practicing at the hospital, officials say.

There are no plans yet to pursue criminal or medical malpractice charges against McLean, said Alan Newberry, the hospital's president and CEO.

PRMC officials say McLean resigned from his medical staff privileges at the hospital effective March 2. McLean cited a visual impairment as a disability, according to PRMC officials.

A stent- a metal mesh tube that keeps an artery open- is often used to relieve chest pain caused by clogged arteries and is an alternative to bypass surgery.

The hospital has established a Call Center at (410) 912-1340 to provide general information to patients making inquiries.  The Call Center will be open 24 hours a day until 5 p.m. Friday, March 9 and then Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for as long as it is needed. 

PRMC's board of trustees has also set up a special committee to conduct an independent review.

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