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Unflattering Press for Bronx-Lebanon Hospital's Head of Orthopedic Surgery

The report detailed surgeon Ira Kirschenbaum's record of alleged poor outcomes for his patients, including multiple patient deaths and a string of malpractice suits pending against him.

Published: July 25, 2017

IN THE SPOTLIGHT The Post describes Dr. Kirschenbaum's record as "troubling," including 4 patient deaths since his hiring at the hospital in 2008.

The chief of orthopedics at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y., has drawn the spotlight in an unflattering news report, citing the surgeon's "troubling record," which reportedly includes 4 patient deaths since his hiring in 2008.

Aside from the 4 patient deaths, Ira Kirschenbaum, MD, has been named in 10 malpractice suits throughout his career, according to a story in Sunday's New York Post. Furthermore, it says 7 hospital staffers recently sent an anonymous letter to a state medical disciplinary panel about the quality of the surgeon's patient care.

Dr. Kirschenbaum came to the hospital in 2008 to lead its joint-replacement program. Three weeks after his arrival, a 57-year-old Bronx native with diabetes and kidney disease was admitted with a dislocated hip, in need of surgery. The Post report alleges Dr. Kirschenbaum delayed the procedure by 14 days and never saw the patient again — he has denied failing to visit patients after operating on them — despite complications that included an infected ulcer on the patient's foot. The patient failed to improve and died a month later.

Of the patient deaths cited in the story, Dr. Kirschenbaum said the patients had been sick with other conditions and that the state Office of Medical Conduct had looked into the deaths and found no wrongdoing. Of the 3 pending malpractice suits, Dr. Kirschenbaum told the Post, "In the last 30 years, that's pretty good."

This isn't the first time The Post has skewered Dr. Kirschenbaum. Last month the paper accused the hospital of pushing "moneymaking surgeries such as hip and knee replacements" in order to pay 6-figure bonuses to executives, including Dr. Kirschenbaum.

In an email, Dr. Kirschenbaum declined to comment. Outpatient Surgery Magazine's special edition on orthopedics highlights a different side to Dr. Kirschenbaum. Click here to read his perspective on becoming a joint-replacement patient himself.

Bill Donahue

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