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UCSD, Doctor Face Lawsuits After Overdose

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One lawsuit alleges a patient woke up during surgery after a former anesthesiologist stole sedatives intended for the patient and overdosed in a hospital bathroom.

Speaker 1: 00:00 A doctor at UC San Diego has already had his medical license suspended. Now he's the subject of a lawsuit which alleges he put a patient in jeopardy and exclusive report in the publication med page today includes details from court documents regarding the doctor's drug abuse and his overdose in a hospital bathroom. Cheryl Clark is the med page reporter who's been covering the story and she recently spoke with KPBS mid day edition cohost Jade Hindman.

Speaker 2: 00:30 You start the article off noting that for years, the university of California San Diego hospital system allowed one of its anesthesiologists to sedate patients knowing he had a longstanding addiction to fitness and other drugs. How long had this problem been going on in his deposition? What he testified to was that he started stealing fentanyl from the hospital or from patients back in his first year of anesthesiology residency at UC SD in November of 2003 and you see a city officials in the wellbeing committee ordered him to go to Betty Ford back in 2008 he also went to rehab another time, but it was, it was unclear whether UCSE knew that he was going there, but they were aware in his testimony that he had a problem and also in some of the university Testament and he as well. So take us to the day, Dr. Bradley Glenn. Hey, overdosed.

Speaker 2: 01:31 What happened? Well, he had two surgical cases. One involved a man named Randy Dallow and Randy had to have some neck surgery. And apparently what Bradley hay did was he withdrew more drugs than he thought the patient would need. He had something like four, three or four syringes, and he used some of those drugs on himself. He escorted the patient into the recovery room, went into a bathroom that was right next to the recovery room, injected himself. Now, what he thought he was injecting was fentanyl, which isn't as strong as fentanyl. What he actually injected with sufentanil. According to him, he said he made a mistake and he went out like a light and collapsed on the bathroom floor. When he woke up, he was in the middle of a bunch of syringes and some vomit and a whole bunch of other UCS people were staring over him.

Speaker 2: 02:28 And that was the end of his career, a CSD, well, he actually, um, itemized three different ways in which he would acquire the drug in all hospitals. Now there is a wasting procedure that has to be witnessed. So if you have more drug than is recorded that the patient needed or, or that you injected into, administered into the patient, then you have to witness a wasting process in front of somebody else. What he would do is that he would substitute saline for whatever the was. And so whatever was witnessed was sort of, kind of faked. And he said that he did this 800 times between 2016 and 2017 when he, when he left the hospital for the last time. And you noted that you CSD leadership failed to realize dr hay had been stealing and injecting himself, uh, with anesthesia drugs intended for patients. So how did his abuse impact those patients?

Speaker 2: 03:27 Well, this gets to the heart of it all, which is that the victims here are UCS, the tax payers, the payers who were paying for those drugs. But the big elephant in the room is whether the patients received enough sedative or whether, you know, maybe he needed that drug. So the patient got less. Now that's something for the courts to decide. That's something for the lawyers to work out. However, his case that day, Randy Dallow, whose wife by the way worked in, he, she was the operating room coordinator. So she knew what Randy Dallow started saying immediately after his surgery was that he was waking up and I'm having these terrible, terrible dreams where he thought he saw a big bright light and he saw fuzzy shapes and he started having pain and he was very, it's kind of like post traumatic stress disorder. And this went on over and over and over night after night after night.

Speaker 2: 04:26 And the Dalloz, Karen and Randy Dalloz testified that they didn't really find out that there had been a problem with the anesthesiologist collapsing after his surgery for months and months and months later. Even though Randy was complaining about all of these, he couldn't sleep in his own bed. He was having trouble sleeping at all. And so it was very complicated and they didn't know. And maybe if somebody had said, Hey, it's possible that maybe, maybe you didn't get all the drug that you, I mean if somebody had looked into it, maybe that would have explained things other than Randy and Karen Della, there's a second lawsuit in which the attorneys are asking you CSD to inform all of the patients that underwent surgery with Dr. Hayes anesthesiology so that they, if, if they had similar circumstances like this, that they could know what was going on, get therapy for it.

Speaker 2: 05:26 Realize it's not all in their head because in the Dallas case, their lives have been disrupted, they say, so what's happened to Dr. Bradley Glenn? Hey, since the overdose, well, he pleaded guilty to federal charges of acquiring controlled substances by fraud, and he was sentenced to time served, which actually was no time, but he was put on probation for I believe, three years. How has the UCS D hospital system responded to all of this? Well, they haven't really responded at all. They just, their officials just said they can't comment on pending litigation. All right. I know this is something you will continue to follow. I've been speaking with Cheryl Clark, writer for MedPage today. Cheryl, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you, Jane.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.