Home >  News >  July, 2014

W.Va. Pain Physician Benched For Unsafe Practices

Dr. Chalifoux reused syringes, didn't wear mask

Published: July 28, 2014

West Virginia authorities have suspended a pain management physician's license after an investigation revealed the reuse of syringes for patient injections.

Roland Chalifoux Jr., DO, the operator and sole practitioner at Valley Pain Management in McMechen, W.Va., was given 15 days to request a hearing after the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine's ruling last week.

The investigation of Dr. Chalifoux's clinic began after one of his patients contracted bacterial meningitis in October 2013. This infection led West Virginia and Ohio health departments to urge patients who'd undergone injections at the clinic since its opening in 2010 to get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

In addition to reusing syringes, Dr. Chalifoux also allegedly did not wear a surgical mask while administering epidural injections, says state epidemiologist Loretta Haddy, PhD, MS, MA.

This isn't the first time Dr. Chalifoux's license has been subject to disciplinary action. In 2004, the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners revoked it, citing Dr. Chalifoux's repeated failure to meet the standard of care in patient treatment, including the 1996 death of a patient after unnecessary surgery.

In a written statement sent in response to a request for comment, Dr. Chalifoux objected to Ohio health authorities' misreporting of the West Virginia investigators' findings, which he said led to inaccurate news accounts of reused syringes. He says his practice has cooperated with West Virginia health authorities' requests. His statement does not, however, address the issue of his suspended license.

Dr. Chalifoux says he is preparing to appeal the license suspension, and questions why it took the board so long after the investigation to act on its suspicions. "If I was guilty in October 2013, they should never have allowed me to practice and expose other patients," he writes in an e-mail.

David Bernard


Also in the News...

Study: Minimizing Door Openings During Surgery Lowers Surgical Site Infection Rate
Hackers Install Ransomware on ASC Computer Network
Feds Finally Freeing Funds for Meningitis Outbreak Victims
ASCs and HOPDs See Slight Hikes Under CMS's Proposal
Anesthesia Tech Sentenced to 1 Year for Molesting Unconscious Patients
Lawsuit: Spine Surgeon, Bone Cement Manufacturer Responsible for Woman's Death
FDA Approves Synthetic Cartilage Implant Used to Treat Foot Pain

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Study: Patients Can Shower 48 Hours Post-Operatively Without Increasing SSI Risk

Those who wash 2 days after surgery are also happier with their care, a new study finds.

Unfiltered OR Lights Burn Patients at Oregon Hospital

Up to 10 patients suffered mild to severe burns thanks to unfiltered halogen lights, hospital says.

Surgery Center Nurse Diverted Demerol and Tried to Cover Her Tracks

The RN replaced the painkiller with saline solution, which was administered to as many as 250 patients at fertility clinic.