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Surviving Under Dr. Death's Knife

Last Played: July 26, 2021
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Host Laura Beil introduces Dr. Christopher Duntsch, a Texas neurosurgeon who infamously botched over 30 surgeries in two years. A new series based on his deadly career and the Dr. Death podcast premiered July 15, 2021 on Peacock.
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obvious that it wasn't going well. Yeah. He kept putting in one of the screws and taking it out again, drilling, removing drilling, removing over and over toward the end of the operation dungeon started a screw into mary efforts tailbone he did it so awkwardly. No one in the room had ever seen anything quite like it. Then dutch threw up his hands jubilantly and said I can leave her just like that, she'll be fine. The surgery was over the day after her surgery. An administrator at the hospital sent an email to DR done which it said how is your patient from yesterday doing? I went on rounds this morning and she informed me that you may be taking her back to surgery on monday. Is everything okay? Yes. Everything is fine surgeries on Tuesday. Mhm. But mary Efford was far from fine. She had lost almost a third of her blood volume during the operation. She woke up from surgery in almost unbearable pain. She had walked into the hospital on her own two ft now, her legs were almost lifeless. She couldn't turn over in her bed, she couldn't raise her toes. She wailed and sobbed and begged the nurses to give her something, anything to stop the pain. Kyle Kissinger went to see her. Do you usually go into your patients? No I've never I've never gone to see a patient in their room after as an O. R. Nurse, he only sees patients before surgeries trying to become as much friends as them as I can because not only make them a little less stressed but to let them know they can trust me because I'm gonna be there while you're asleep and I'm gonna make sure that nothing bad comes to you. He knew she would need another operation and ask if he could be there. It has to be with like the whole like feeling guilty like letting her get hurt like under my under my supervision so I just I felt the responsibility that I wanted to be there to fix whatever I was there that went wrong and she was just in a lot of discomfort uh and a little bit disoriented from the sedation that she had. This is when Dr Henderson first came to see her. She wasn't mad or upset, she was more confused and disappointed and depressed. She was just thankful that there was someone else taking care of me. She said I don't ever want to see dr Dutch again. Yeah Dr Henderson brought mary effort back onto the operating table the next day by now he decided that dutch was at the very least an incompetent surgeon. Maybe worse when Dr Henderson clipped the freshly sown incisions on mary efforts back. He saw for the first time what dr dutch had done, He turned on a video recorder. Okay here we are on mary effort on 7 28. I knew it was gonna go to litigation of some sort for malpractice because of what I'd seen on the X rays and what I'd seen on her physical exam. So I thought it was just easier to just film it and dictate while I was filming it. Let me have another. The first thing he saw was a screw just sticking up right through the middle of the spinal canal and just kind of flopping around and it's attached by a rod to the screw at the level above on the right side. Well the screws solid but the rods not solid. In fact I just pull on the rod and it pulls right out. This is the S. One screw which is right as he went on he found more damage, more hardware where it shouldn't be. There were three holes poked into the bones of her spinal column where dutch had tried and failed three times to insert screws. One screw was jabbed directly into her spinal canal. That same screw had also skewered a bundle of nerves that controls one leg in the bladder. Dr. Henderson removed fragments of bone. I clean that up and I'm looking for the nerve er and there is no nerve er and then I trace it back to the spinal sack itself and I see this fluid coming out of a leak right there and the nerve roots been amputated. It's been removed, it's been resected. He removed the nerve roots so he could put bone in this place where they're not supposed to be any bone. The bundle of nerves that used to control her leg was completely gone. That's why mary effort couldn't lift her foot anymore to perform this so poorly and so disastrously that you really haven't even accomplished anything except injuring the patient. Henderson realized something else too Dutch hadn't even been operating in the right place, all this damage and had been operating on the wrong disk the whole time. Probably everyone in the operating room that day, all of the personnel in the operating room that day could have done a better job uh in performing that surgery than dr done she'd done at this point, Dr Henderson knew the surgery was completely botched.
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