A doctor accused of reusing anal catheters on multiple patients has had his licence to practice suspended.
Dr Sanjiv K. Patankar allegedly used the devices on at least five patients before they were finally discarded.
The instruments are meant to be thrown away after a single use, as multiple uses put patients at risk of disease.
The doctor, who practices in East Brunswick, claims he had instructed aids to wash the catheters in soap water after they were used, soak them in a bleach solution, then rinse and let them air dry.
But a medical assistant told how he allegedly made them continue to use one catheter even after it began to break down from over bleaching.
Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, Sharon Joyce, said that the allegation ‘not only violates professional standards, it reveals an alarming lack of judgement that calls into question his fitness to practice.’
She added: ‘Through his alleged conduct, Dr. Patankar has demonstrated a reckless disregard for public safety that placed countless patients at risk of communicable diseases.’
The catheters are used to examine patients whose issues may involve the anorectal sphincter.
According to the attorney general’s office, a committee hearing heard differing testimonies from Patankar’s assistants.
Yet he still had his licence suspended after evidence showed he performed 82 anorectal procedures during a time frame where only five of the catheters had been ordered.
Patankar is due to have a full hearing and will be able to appeal the committee’s decision before then by providing evidence he had in fact ordered catheters in that period.
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