Testimony begins in Dr. Atiq Durrani's medical malpractice case: 6 insights


Testimony began in a medical malpractice case involving the fugitive spine surgeon Atiq Durrani, MD, WLTW 5 reports.

Here are six things to know:

1. According to federal authorities, the formerly Cleveland-based Dr. Durrani fled to Pakistan in 2014 after federal charges accused him of insurance fraud and performing unnecessary spine surgery.

2. Dr. Durrani's former patient Cathy Beil was the first witness in the civil suit and the first of hundreds who have filed suit against him. Her lawsuit alleges that Dr. Durrani convinced her immediate scoliosis surgery was necessary to prevent her from ending up in a wheelchair.

3. According to the plaintiff's first witness, orthopedic spine surgeon Keith Wilkey, MD, there was no indication for the surgery.

4. Ms. Beil's lawsuit claimed that Dr. Durrani was negligent in implanting screws and hardware during surgery, leading to increased postoperative pain and requiring her to undergo revision surgery by a different physician.

5. Dr. Wilkey's review of Dr. Durrani's records alleges that his postoperative report came 50 days after Ms. Beil's surgery, well past the medical standard. Dr. Wilkey testified that the punishment for a delinquent medical record at West Chester (Ohio) Hospital is suspension.

6. Dr. Durrani had privileges at West Chester Hospital, Cincinnati-based UC Health and the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies in Blue Ash, Ohio. Ms. Beil alleged that these facilities knew or should have known that Dr. Durrani had lost his medical privileges at other hospitals. Attorneys representing these institutions plan to argue that they are not culpable for Dr. Durrani's actions. Another plaintiff's witness, neurosurgeon Steven Bloomfield, MD, testified June 22.

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