Friday, December 26, 2008

Dr. Chris Dangles insults Danville, IL patients

Dr. Chris Dangles (orthopedic surgeon with Carle Clinic Association) absolutely never ceases to amaze me.

I recently stumbled upon testimony that Dr. Dangles gave in Illinois about access to health care. This is the html version of the file (you will need to copy and paste into your browser)

Dr. Dangles' testimony is on pages 65-67. Good grief.

Among other goofy things, Dr. Dangles states that he does not perform joint replacements on patients with ". . . bad dental care because you are looking for a problem."

Dr. Dangles remarked that he has at least five (5) patients that are waiting to have hip replacement. First, Dr. Dangles is requiring the patients to have their teeth pulled.

According to Dr. Chris Dangles, "[w]e see problems with people becoming septic because of their dental care on a monthly basis in the hospital and usually its their joint replacement that gets infected."

Then, Dr. Dangles ends his testimony with a joke "that you hear all the time."

Dangles: "What do you have when you have five Danvillians [residents of Danville, Illinois] in your office - a full set of teeth." Very nice, Dr. Dangles.

I am reminded of the hospitalists at Duke University Hospital that insisted my father had "years of dental neglect." Absolutely wrong. And it was not until an oral surgeon (also at DUH) examined my father that the hospitalists understood the extent of my dad's infection. The infection caused by the chemotherapy was in dad's mouth.

The hospitalists are not dentists. And, Dr. Chris Dangles is not a dentist.

It does not surprise me that Dr. Dangles would insult his patients. And it certainly does not surprise me that Dr. Dangles would blame his patients for their own condition. It was my experience that Dr. Dangles does not have the clinical ability or interest in helping patients.

The dental problems could be caused by another infection or underlying medical condition.

And, if the dental issues were so important then why doesn't Dr. Dangles refer the patients to the oral and maxiofacial surgery department at his own Carle Clinic?

I know why. It has been my experience that Dr. Dangles was motivated by money rather than providing patients with appropriate care. For example,

1. When I fell post ankle reconstruction, Dr. Dangles routinely pushed me off on a nurse or simple told the nurses to chart "don't worry about it."

2. Another example is when my friend's mom attended a Carle Clinic and Foundation dinner. Dr. Dangles apparently stood up and complained that orthopedic surgeons were leaving and he had too much work to do. That was an odd comment since Dr. Dangles performed (even according to Dr. Dangles himself)
completely unnecessary surgeries on me!

Dr. Dangles states that he pays $235,000 a year for malpractice insurance but he is only reimbursed $1500 for a Medicare patient to have a total hip replacement. Hmmm, sounds like Dr. Dangles has been sued a lot and worries more about his wallet than the patients.

Dr. Dangles takes the time to do the math and determine how much money he makes per procedure. Dr. Dangles also spends an exorbitant amount of time lobbying for medical malpractice reform!

IMHO, Dr. Dangles ought to take the time to research infections and help patients.

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