The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was cited for allowing health personnel to take photos and videos of an OR patient with a genital injury.
The incident occurred on December 23, 2016 after the patient walked into the emergency room with a “foreign object” inserted into his penis.
The patient was prepped for surgery to remove the foreign object.
Somehow word got out about the patient’s genital injury, and unauthorized personnel began crowding into the operating room to have a look and to take pictures.
According to published reports, an employee told investigators there were so many nurses and doctors crowding into the operating room that it looked like a circus.
“I was attending to the patient and at one point when I looked up there were so many people it looked like a cheerleader type pyramid,” an employee told investigators.
Another employee said, “the patient was the focal point of all the chaos and that there was a ‘ton’ of people in the room.”
Investigators from the Pennsylvania Department of Health cited the hospital for multiple violations, including violating the patient’s confidentiality and privacy rights, and allowing people not involved in the patient’s care into the operating room to use personal devices to take pictures of the patient.
An employee reported the incident to hospital administrators when she saw pictures of the man’s genitals being circulated around the hospital.
“The patient had a genital injury and hospital staff had apparently taken photos and video of the patient using their personal cell phones, and were showing the photos to other hospital staff,” said the report.
After completing its investigation in May, two doctors were suspended and the surgical services nursing director was terminated.