Renaissance Ultrasound Blog

April 2, 2010

Doctor Loses License: Blames Faulty Ultrasound System

A doctor in Sarasota, FL chose to try a complicated  procedure on a patient which was not only risky,but also one he had never performed before – yet he blames the mistake on faulty ultrasound equipment.

“According to an administrative complaint, four years ago Dr. Matthew Kachinas decided to try a procedure called selective fetal reduction, which he never before performed.

State officials said last week at Kachinas’s hearing in Tampa that during the procedure, which was on a woman carrying twins, a healthy one and one with signs of Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect, he aborted the wrong fetus.”

“He blamed faulty ultrasound equipment for his error.”

This is a tragic story for the patient and the family, but as professionals in the ultrasound industry, let’s learn from this mistake (provided nobody performs a risky procedure he is not trained in doing).

If you purchase refurbished ultrasound equipment, make sure you purchase from a reputable company who continues to answer your phone calls post-sale!  The equipment should also come with a standard 90 day warranty with an option to purchase a service contract.  There are several excellent service-related companies who employ former OEM service engineers who know the equipment inside and out.  One such company is Unisyn Medical, located in Golden, CO with depots and engineers across the country.  There is no reason not to have a service contract on your equipment and to get annual inspections, called PMs – preventive maintenance – you prevent something from going wrong or missing/dead elements in a transducer that need to be fixed for better image quality (having a transducer that does not fire at 100% degrades your image and you can lose valuable information).

Next is quality, system-specific ultrasound training, buying refurbished equipment is a great way to save some money, but you need to be trained on how to utilize all of the software features and technology in addition to specific clinical applications.  Our training sessions are customized to the system being used and the staff’s experience level.  When learning a new clinical application a full day will be spent doing lecture and hands-on scanning with CMEs provided from the SDMS.

Granted, the doctor performed a very complex procedure which is beyond Renaissance’s scope, but it is imperative that health care professionals be properly trained on ultrasound equipment and clinical applications to ensure the best patient care possible.  This includes servicing the equipment before something goes wrong!

To read more about the doctor, click here.

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