The attorney for Dr. Ted Jefferson released a photo that he says shows the unsanitary condition of the medical equipment at Baptist Health Paducah.
Defense attorney Bard Brian says the picture shows what Jefferson's surgical tray looked like on Jan. 26, the day before he was arrested.
The local orthopedic surgeon faces charges of disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening. He's accused of making gun-related remarks while working at Baptist Health Paducah.
Brian says the equipment in the picture is the reason his client got upset.
"What you see in this photograph is some bone cement, that is, a fairly good size chunk of bone cement from a prior surgery," says Brian.
Bone cement is plexiglass used to keep implants in place after a surgery.
"What that means is this has previously been placed in a patients body, and gathered within that there could be flesh, blood, even bone that is located within the bone cement or under the bone cement," says Brian.
Brian says Jefferson had five surgeries scheduled on the day the photo was taken, he says three of those had corrupt surgical trays.
"In one instance there was actually bone fragment from another person that was certified by Baptist Health to be ready to go and placed in another person's body." Brian says.
It was something Brian says Jefferson found unacceptable.
"For a doctor to be upset over patient care and then be charged criminally, it's just outrageous," says Brian. "Who wants that put in their child's body? I don't, and so far the focus has been on Dr. Ted getting mad about it. Well, people ought to be mad about this."
Brian says this case isn't about an alleged threat made by a doctor; it's about the conditions at a local hospital.
"This has got to do with patient safety and health and the people of this community," says Brian.
"This happened three times out of five," says Brian. "How many other times has it happened, and were patients billed for corrupt trays that they shouldn't have been billed for?"
Brian says he's knows for a fact that a member of the Medical Examining Committee at Baptist Health Paducah has had a copy of this photo since Feb. 8.
After speaking to Brian, we reached out to Baptist Health Paducah. Here are the questions we asked:
1.) Are you, Baptist Health Paducah, familiar with this picture?
2.) Do you, Baptist Health Paducah, have a copy of this photo?
3.) What is protocol when a tray is considered to be corrupt/unsanitary/unclean?
4.) Is there an incident report from what trays Dr. Ted Jefferson refused that day?
5.) Who are the members of the Medical Examining Committee (MEC)?
6.) Did anyone on the MEC have a copy of this photo before Tuesday?
We received this statement from Baptist Health Paducah in response:
"Our first priority is the safety of our staff, patients and the community we serve; and, in this place of healing, we believe there is no justification to threaten harm. As part of our routine process, before patients ever enter the operating room, our staff takes multiple steps to sterilize and inspect surgical instruments. On Jan. 26, our processes worked, and no patient was in an operating room with unsterile instruments. We thank our employees for their diligence and commitment to protecting our patients."
At this time, Brian isn't releasing how he got the photo or who took the picture.
Jefferson was back in court on Tuesday for his arraignment hearing, which the judge has continued for a second time. He'll be back in court on March 8.
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