Florida Board of Medicine to Decide if Back Surgeon Committed Repeated Medical Malpractice By Tod Aronovitz | 04/15/15 | 0 Comment

Dr. Alfred Octavius Bonati, a self-described pioneer in back microsurgery that requires no general anesthesia or hospital stay according to his website, finds himself at the center of four medical malpractice cases at the Department of Health. All have recently been brought before the Florida Board of Medicine in Deerfield Beach.

A recent article on WUSF Health News Florida reported that the cases involve past surgeries of four patients, some of which have happened as long as 11 years ago. These cases have been with prosecutors for at least five years, according to DOH, because they required multiple expert opinions and time to thoroughly sift through all the difficult and complex documentation.

The cases first came to DOH’s attention after several malpractice suits against Dr. Bonati were filed. Both state and court complaints say Dr. Bonati failed to send patients with serious complications to a hospital for emergency care.

The plaintiffs alleging malpractice include:

  • A nurse from Michigan who suffered a tear in the dura (membrane that covers the spinal cord) and a leak of spinal fluid. The malpractice case argues that the patient should have been sent to an acute-care hospital instead of being housed at a condo and cared by visiting home nurses over two weeks. She underwent further surgery upon returning home.
  • A retired nurse from Georgia whose surgery left her with a permanent and severe disability after the surgery.
  • A Michigan man whose complaint alleges that the six surgeries he underwent from Dr. Bonati actually aggravated his previous condition and caused new problems.
  • A dentist from Kansas City, who allegedly suffered major blood loss from a hemorrhage, followed by loss of breathing and resuscitation by the anesthesiologist. After unsuccessfully recuperating for two weeks in a motel, she eventually had to be flown home by air ambulance to undergo neurosurgery, records show.

The Department of Health is reportedly engaged in settlement discussions with Dr. Bonati and his legal team. Of the four civil malpractice cases that have resulted from the current complaints, three are still pending. One has already been resolved by an arbitration panel with a six-figure settlement.

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