Appeals court upholds license suspension of physician cited for medical violations

By Takesha Thomas | Dec 4, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana's Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal recently upheld disciplinary sanctions against a Baton Rouge physician who was suspended and fined after he was charged with numerous medical violations. 

In a Nov. 7 opinion, the appeals court upheld the decision by the Orleans Parish Civil District Court to affirm the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) disciplinary sanctions against Dr. Arnold E. Feldman. Feldman had filed an appeal after the parish court decision. 

According to the filing, Feldman filed a petition for judicial review in court after the LSBME suspended his license after a patient died in his care. The matter stems from an investigation in 2013 after a patient died "while undergoing a lumbar epidural steroid injection in Dr. Feldman’s ambulatory surgery center on Feb. 25, 2013," court filings said. Feldman was charged with seven counts of alleged violations of the Louisiana Medical Practice Act after an investigation was conducted. As a result, Feldman's license was suspended and he was fined $5,000. 

The investigation found the Department of Health and Human Services (DHH) had visited Feldman’s ambulatory surgery center in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Among other things, "multitude of deficiencies related to the failure to have a registered nurse present before, during and after surgical procedures" was found in the 2010 visit, court documents said. Similar deficiencies were noted in the 2011 and 2013 visits. 

According to the suit, even though Feldman's registered nurse was not present on the day of the surgical procedure, Feldman went ahead with the procedure. Shortly after the lumbar injection was administered, court documents said, the patient coded. After failing to re-establish an IV and following attempts at resuscitation for more than an hour, the patient was pronounced dead. 

Court documents said Feldman had his nurse sign the deceased patient's medical records "to reflect that she was present during the pre-operative examination, patient consents and during the procedure." Feldman subsequently admitted to "possessing and signing the records before submission to the LSBME." 

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