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surgeons with AIDS

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by mrhealth, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. mrhealth

    mrhealth Member
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    if you are a surgeon and have AIDS, do you need to tell your patients about this? what kind of liability/malpractice issues are there?
     
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  3. 63768

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    i'd think so. you come into contact with the patient's blood and fluids, and in the event that you cut through your glove, they need to know that contracting AIDS is a possible complication of the surgery, no matter how small. if we tell patients they have a risk of the surgery not working, infection, anesthesia, i think it's only right to tell them the physician has AIDS.

    whatever the case, sucks to be a doc with AIDS.
     
  4. BaylorGuy

    BaylorGuy Enter witty comment here
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    I'd have to agree. Just as much as doctors tell their patients that there may be small chances of complications, I think its just as right to tell them about contracting AIDS.

    I mean seriously, what if you were going under the knife, were told all the complications and everything. You wake up and everything is fine, no complications at all....except, that you contracted AIDS from the surgeon. I highly doubt this would ever happen, but i definitely think that the patient should know about it in advance.
     
  5. mrhealth

    mrhealth Member
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    then you would be out of business real fast. why would anyone use a surgeon with AIDS if they could use one without? a physician i know had a situation with someone on the clinical staff at his office had AIDS, but he didnt want anyone on the staff to know. made me wonder about surgeons.
     
  6. Pretty POHA

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    Honestly, I don't know if I'd be comfortable with having a surgeon with AIDS working on me. That may sound bad or like I'm being ignorant or something, but I'm trying not to get AIDS. I dunno.
     
  7. brains

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    I totally agree. I think I don't know what I'd do with myself If I woke up with AIDS.

    I'd be pretty upset.
     
  8. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    If the surgeon contracted after training to be a doctor then disability insurance would probably cover him and he wouldn't practice anymore or act as a consultant.
     
  9. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    To answer the OP, from what I can find it depends on state privacy regulations. There is one case that I found where a phyician stepped down out of practice when he was diagnosed - as well as one possibly transmission of HIV to patient from orthopedic surgeon. But as any other blood pathogen (such as HIV) there are risks.

    All precautions in the OR must be taken as with transmission of ANY disease.

    Additionally .. I wouldn't worry too much as physicians with AIDS current appear to be a small percent ...

    Number of health professionals with AIDS

    Case in france of surgical transmission

    Doctor quoted as forced by admin to resign from all surgeries

    I think it would be a hospital policy of liability but where do you draw the line?

    I have mixed feelings as to take something away from a doctor (surgery) would feel like discrimination but the patients safety should come first. There are precautions that can be taken though to prevent transmission and the chances are VERY VERY slim.

    I wish some people would think before responding by actually researching some of the facts. I realize that its just a first gut instinct but there are also alot of things about HIV/AIDS that many people don't take the time to really realize.
     
  10. 63768

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    hence why i typed "sucks to be a doc with AIDS" in my original post. if you have AIDS, you can't just hide it even if you don't go into surgery. if you contracted or have AIDS, you better look for a new profession. you're not ignorant. it's perfectly logical.
     
  11. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    It's kind of obvious isn't it? It's the patients right to know...

    I would personally never let a doc who is HIV positive operate on me...unless of course he is the only one who could, in which case I would do alot of praying.
     
  12. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    More than 10 years ago, a physician contracted HIV during her residency while drawing a blood gas. (I heard about it when she successfully sued her residency program for failure to adequately train her before sending her to draw a blood gas on a pt known to have HIV). She ended up going into occupational medicine because it is pretty much a desk job (worker safety issues and clearance to return to work) with no issues about transmitting body fluids.

    Radiology, radiation oncology, pathology & psychiatry might be other career options for someone who has become HIV+ during the course of training.
     
  13. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Is it the patients right to know? There are privacy laws that protect the patient ... hence the patient is the doctor as well ...
     
  14. MDCali

    MDCali Senior Member
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    That's not ignorant at all!!! It sounds reasonable to me! I would never want someone with a transmittable disease performing surgery on me unless I were in the middle of no where, I needed surgery immediately and the only surgeon around happened to have a disease. Seriously, it's not about prejudice or anything like that, it's about being as safe as possible.
     
  15. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat
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    If you woke up with AIDS you would have contracted it long before the surgery.


    By the way, a surgeon with AIDS is a surgical consult only.
     
  16. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    so they have to retrain again? great, especially after contracting the virus during residency. :thumbdown:
     
  17. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    what if someone had Hep C, was treated for it and is now undetectable...should they be a surgeon? would it bother you to have a surgeon with such a history?

    i heard of a pediatric cardiologist who contracted HCV from one of hhis little patients; he suffered for many years and eventually got a life saving liver transplant
     
  18. toofache32

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    Just food for thought: We can't refuse treatment to patients because of their bloodborne disease, so is this a double-standard?
     
  19. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    clearly seems to be to me, but apparently the "customer" is always right. :confused: and what about those physicians or other healthcare workers who contracted these bloodborne diseases from their patients that they couldn't refuse to treat? :eek:
     
  20. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy
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    Additionally, how many physicians do you know with Hep C that are open about it.

    THey are required to their privacy just like a patient (even if they are a doctor themselves). IF it doesn't prevent them from doing thei job and the right precautions are taken ... I consider that discrimination.
     
  21. UT-Lilly

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    HEY "BAYLOR" - what can you tell me about the BCOM general surgery program? what year student are you?
     
  22. NikkiDeee

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    Supposedly transplant surgeons have a high rate of Hep C (compared to other physicians), obviously related to the high risk of transmission from the patient population they treat. If you are worried about transmissable diseases, you should be more worried about Hep C because they have higher likelihood of transmission with exposure compared to HIV. Yet, do we expect surgeons to give up their practice after contracting Hep C from their patients?
     
  23. toofache32

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    Just don't ever check yourself for Hepatitis. You could still have another 10-20 years of practice before the disease disables you any. Then you can just retire.
     
  24. Psycho Doctor

    Psycho Doctor *** Angel
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    and perhaps your viral load can proliferate to the point that it makes treatment unsuccessful and you'll die. Interferon and ribavirin, the most effective treatment today works more successfully when the viral load is low.
     

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