A former doctor who admitted he was abusing prescription drugs agreed to settle the medical malpractice lawsuit against him in St. Louis County court this week.
The patient, John W. Campbell, accused Michael Impey of putting a hole in his colon during a medical procedure in 2006. About a foot of Campbell’s colon was removed as a result of the injury.
Impey, who lost his medical license soon after the incident because he was abusing pain pills, agreed to settle Tuesday for an undisclosed amount.
A patient alleging medical malpractice says a doctor at Des Peres Hospital who was addicted to prescription drugs for years put a hole in his colon during a medical procedure in 2006.
As a result, surgeons had to remove about a foot of John W. Campbell’s colon, his attorney said.
Now, a St. Louis County jury in the trial of Campbell’s lawsuit will have to decide whether the incident is worth monetary damages.
The doctor involved, Michael Impey, lost his medical license soon after the incident because he was abusing pain pills, said Paul Passanante, attorney for the plaintiff.
Administrators at Des Peres, where Impey at one time was chief of the medical staff, first learned of the doctor’s addictions in 2003, when nurses reported that he fell asleep during a colonoscopy, Passanante said.
The hospital called in the Missouri Physicians Health Program to monitor and help Impey with his drug abuse problems.
Impey resisted help for months. Eventually he agreed to participate in regular drug tests and to be evaluated by a team of addiction specialists, attorneys said.
Impey repeatedly tested positive for the painkiller Oxycodone in 2003 and 2004. He eventually went into a rehabilitation program, said his attorney, Robert S. Rosenthal.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Narcotic and Dangerous Drugs suspended his privileges to write some prescriptions. Impey returned to his practice at Des Peres Hospital in 2005. But he soon relapsed.
His medical license was put on probation by the Missouri Board of the Healing Arts in 2006.
Impey’s urine tests continued to test positive for painkillers, including a sample taken on Dec. 18, 2006 — the day he performed a colonoscopy on Campbell, Passanante said.
Passanante said experts this week will testify that Impey was impaired during that procedure.
Campbell was admitted to Des Peres Hospital with serious symptoms for two days. His family eventually transferred him to another hospital, where surgeons stopped the leaking from his colon and removed part of it.
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