Surgeon Faces Charges After Spree of Injured Spine Surgery Patients
Dr. Christopher Duntsch had a sterling reputation as a surgeon when he moved from Tennessee to Texas to continue his medical practice. Duntsch started as a medical researcher, specializing in cancer stem cell treatments, but quickly morphed into a spinal surgeon. Duntsch secured a position at the prestigious Baylor Regional hospital in Plano, Texas.
Duntsch was quickly fired from his first job. Duntsch kept moving around Dallas-area hospitals. Colleagues reported him to hospitals and medical licensing officials. They stepped in front of him in operating suites, and took instruments out of his hands during surgeries. According to D magazine, Duntsch abused drugs, partied, and talked about having wild sex often before long, complex operations. There have been reports that he may intentionally have tried to maim patients. His surgeries have been tied to deaths.
Duntsch has been accused of amputating a patient’s spinal nerve, causing paralysis; cutting another patient’s vertebral artery and ignoring the major bleeding that occurred; installing a too-long screw so that it punctured a big vein, causing extensive bleeding and nerve damage; slashing a patient’s esophagus and a neck artery, leaving the man struggling to eat, breathe, and with blood loss to the brain. Duntsch was arrested in Colorado, and sits in a Dallas jail, awaiting criminal trial.