Boston spine surgeon fined after leaving patient in operating room


The head of spine surgery at Boston Medical Center was disciplined after admitting to leaving an emergency surgery case to eat in his car and falling asleep in 2016, The Boston Globe reported Oct. 27.

Tony Tannoury, MD, was fined $5,000 and was ordered to complete five continuing education credits in "professionalism" and review regulations for supervising residents.

Hospital policy required him to oversee an emergency ankle surgery with the chief resident on Nov. 22, 2016, the report said. However, Dr. Tannoury left the operating room while the patient was being prepped to get something to eat. He went to his parked car and fell asleep in the vehicle.

The chief resident completed the operation. The board ruled Dr. Tannoury "engaged in conduct that undermines the public confidence in the integrity of the medical profession."

A spokesperson for the hospital told Becker's Spine Review that the patient was notified about the situation and the surgical outcome was positive.

"Dr. Tony Tannoury was covering an evening on-call shift when this case arrived to Boston Medical Center in 2016," a spokesperson said in an email to Becker's. "This was an emergent injury, not a previously scheduled procedure. BMC formally reprimanded Dr. Tannoury and reported the incident to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. … Dr. Tony Tannoury is the director of spine services at Boston Medical Center and no additional issues have been raised about his services since this incident." 

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