14 July 2010

Octomom's doctor in big trouble

The fertility doctor of Octomom faces more accusations from other patients including implanting too many embryos and failing to refer a patient to a cancer specialist.

The fertility doctor of "Octomom" Nadya Suleman implanted too many embryos in one patient, resulting in the death of a foetus, and failed to refer another woman to a cancer specialist after finding cysts on her ovaries, the state licensing board said.

The new allegations by the Medical Board of California bolster its ongoing negligence case against Dr. Michael Kamrava. The board said a 48-year-old patient identified only as "L.C." was implanted with seven embryos in September 2008 - several months after the 33-year-old Suleman had embryos implanted.

Implanting more than two embryos in a patient over age 35 meant Kamrava "placed L.C. at great risk for high-order gestation, which was confirmed by a quadruplet pregnancy that ended with catastrophic results," the filing said.

Doc insists treatment was done 'right'

Kamrava is scheduled for an October 18 hearing before the medical board to determine if his license should be revoked or suspended.

His public relations representative David Langness and his lawyer Henry Fenton said they could not comment on the open case. Kamrava, whose office is in Beverly Hills, has declined repeated interview requests from The Associated Press and other news organisations.

However, in one interview, Kamrava said the Suleman fertility treatment was "done the right way".

The California medical board has not disclosed the number of embryos Suleman had implanted but said the number was far in excess of recommendations and "beyond the reasonable judgment of any treating physician."

Suleman has said six were implanted, and two of the embryos split. Her pregnancy has been under scrutiny since she gave birth in January 2009.  The latest allegations against Kamrava were noted by the board when its case was updated on June 30.

The filing said four of the seven embryos implanted in "L.C." became viable. She lost one during pregnancy and gave birth to triplets, one of whom has profound developmental delays, the board said.

Doc 'failed patients'

In another similarity to the Suleman case, Kamrava is accused of failing to refer "L.C." to receive appropriate mental health counseling prior to undergoing fertility treatments - "omissions which constitute an extreme departure from the standard of practice," according to the filing.

Kamrava also was accused by the board of failing to refer another patient identified as "H.L." for cancer screening, despite her history of the disease and his discovery of cysts on her ovaries in an ultrasound.

After draining fluid from the cysts and testing for cancerous cells, Kamrava ruled out cancer on his own "rather than refer H.L. to a specialist for further evaluation," according to the filing.

Kamrava continued with fertility treatments, performing an embryo transfer for the woman in January 2009, but the pregnancy did not take, the report states.

Afterward, the patient went to two more fertility specialists who both recommended she undergo surgery to rule out cancer.

Following surgery in April 2009, "H.L." was diagnosed with metastatic, stage III bilateral ovarian cancer and had to have her uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, the report states. - (Sapa, July 2010)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.