Orthopedic surgeon fined for operating on wrong knee

Alan Condon -  

The Connecticut Medical Examining Board fined and reprimanded an orthopedic surgeon who operated on the wrong knee of a patient at Bristol Hospital in 2018, The Bristol Press reported Feb. 16.

Christopher Betz, DO, of Hartford, Conn.-based Starling Physicians, performed surgery on the left knee of a patient, although the right knee was the planned joint for surgery.

Connecticut Department of Public Health documents said the surgeon "failed to follow the pre-incision time-out protocol and independently verify the laterality of the procedure."

Dr. Betz was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and had his license to practice as a physician and surgeon in Connecticut reprimanded, according to the report. He has taken continuing education coursework in preventing errors and near misses in surgery. 

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