The high-profile investigation of questionable surgical practices at Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill Neuroscience Institute has captivated the public’s interest across our region.
Yesterday, this saga unfolded further when The Medical Quality Assurance Commission suspended the medical license of Dr. Johnny Delashaw, Swedish’s prominent neurosurgeon, saying their decision was based on “an immediate threat to public health and safety.”
Delashaw, one of the key figures in the Swedish investigation, stepped down from practicing last February after The Seattle Times’ investigation came to light. Formerly the highest-volume brain and spine surgeon in Washington State, Delashaw was accused in numerous internal and external complaints for the quality of his patient care, and for unprofessional behavior in dealing with other hospital staff.
The newspaper’s findings allege:
- The neuroscience unit incentivized surgeons for maintaining large patient numbers and complicated and invasive surgical techniques to increase profits, beyond what was needed for patient care.
- This high-volume model has taken a toll on patient care, contributing to higher rates of blood clots, collapsed lungs, increased volumes of stroke patients, and serious surgical complications, versus federal and state benchmarks.
- Publicizing star surgeons to draw patients to the hospital, but allowing less-experienced surgeons to conduct operations instead.
Media coverage of The Seattle Times’ findings brought the issue to the attention of government regulators. Swedish is now the subject of a U.S. Attorney’s Office and a state investigation into its patient care practices. This issue also forced changes in executive leadership at the hospital system.
If you or a family member were injured or have questions about care you received at Swedish Medical Center, or if you have another legal issue you would like to discuss, we are here to help.
Our experienced attorneys battle to uncover the truth and resolve unanswered questions for our clients, who have been involved in numerous similar medical situations.
You can reach us by phone at (206) 467-6090, or through our contact page.