We have written in previous issues about the widespread problem relating to pain pumps. Dr. Joseph A. Carrese is the director of the program on ethics and clinical practice at John Hopkins Berman Institute of Bio-Ethics. Dr. Carrese, who is an expert in the field of Bio-Ethics, has recently reviewed medical literature, expert reports and depositions from the shoulder pain pump litigation. He was asked to form an opinion about an orthopedic surgeon’s ethical responsibility to a patient after performing arthroscopic shoulder surgery with the use of a pain pump device that infuses medication continuously via a catheter directly into the shoulder joint. Based upon his education, training and expertise and the review of all of the documents provided to him, Dr. Carrese believes that the surgeon should inform all of his patients who have had this surgery and subsequent use of the pain pump of the following:
We believe there are many patients in this country suffering from chondrolysis as a result of infusion of an anesthetic into their joint space with the use of a pain pump who have no idea they have suffered an injury in this manner. Orthopedic surgeons who have performed this type of surgery have an ethical responsibility to inform those patients of the above risk and rights. We hope that they will do so.
Source: Dr. Josepha A. Carrese
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