The Bucharest Court ordered, on Saturday, the preventive arrest for 30 days of the cardiologist Dan Tesloianu from the “St. Spiridon” Hospital in Iasi, charged by the General Prosecutor’s Office for reusing heart pacemakers extracted from corpses.
The court’s decision is not final, but it is enforceable, therefore the doctor will be taken to the Police Custody. Dan Tesloianu was detained on Friday for 24 hours, for committing the crimes of abuse of office, in continuous form (238 material acts), complicity in the continuation of the execution of the works after the order to stop them by the competent control bodies, according to the law, and taking of bribery.
“In the factual situation retained by the prosecutors, it is mentioned that the defendant would have exercised his duties, with intention, in a defective way, by implanting, between 2017 and August 2022, a number of 238 devices extracted from corpses or the source of which is unknown, ignoring the risk of causing patients serious medical problems or even death, thus proceeding to their reuse, although this is prohibited by primary legislation.
At the same time, the manufacturers of medical devices record on the packaging of the devices the prohibition of their reuse. From the evidence administered in the case so far, it emerged that the defendant operationalized a network made up of medical personnel who provided him with implantable cardiac devices, extracted including from deceased patients, without complying with the legal provisions and without the consent, prior to death, of the persons in question or of the members. Later, he performed medical procedures for the reimplantation of these devices, without registering them in the hospital management (in the absence of provenance documents) and, consequently, without going through the internal procedural flow, there being no compliance notices from the Ministry of Health, certificates guarantee and documents attesting to the completion of the sterilization procedures”, the prosecutors claim.
The investigators show that a large part of the interventions to insert some implantable cardiac devices, including those extracted from deceased patients, carried out/recommended by the doctor, were not necessary, proceeding to their operationalization either by recording fictitious diagnoses or by recommending previous use of some drugs that cause reactions of a nature to lead to the specific symptomatology.
Also in this file, five other doctors are being prosecuted for bribery, and four patients are being investigated for bribery. In relation to one of the doctors, the prosecutor ordered the taking of the preventive measure of judicial control for a duration of 60 days, with the obligation to stop practicing the profession of doctor.
After the case came to light, patients started to tell of an avalanche of complications that have brought them to the brink of death instead of helping them lead a better life.
The investigators say that between 2017 and last summer, when the County Health Center discovered the network led by doctor Tesloianu, almost 240 patients would have received recycled medical devices. Some without really needing it, others convinced by diagnoses aggravated for no reason or with the help of drugs. One of the patients operated on in 2021 agreed to tell her drama.
“That device never worked, from the first second, it doesn’t work now, but the complications that were created then, destroyed my… Instead of helping me, they destroyed my life, because I am now worse than before it was fitted. Very big complications arose. I had pericarditis and pleurisy, so my chest filled with fluid, which caused my blood pressure to drop, almost to death. The woman believes that all the complications can be attributed to the device she received, especially since the documents raised her suspicions since then,” a woman patient recounted. “The devices have certified, simply, an A4 sheet, in which all the details about the device are described and some boxes are filled in. All the details were filled in with the pen. Signed, stamped. He has a code, now do I know how true or false it is?! Only God knows!”, she added.
“In 2013 he operated on me, put a device on me, when he inserted the device he also resuscitated me. After the device… it started coming out, I got infections and he operated on me seven times. He changed me after 4.5 years. And he would put it in and it would come out, I would get an infection, it would crack. He operated on me seven times. And the last time he put it on the left side of my muscle and gave me a card for it,” another woman patient told Digi24 reporters.
The President of the College of Physicians from the Municipality of Bucharest (CMMB), prof. dr. Cătălina Poiană, stated that the cardiologist from the “St. Spiridon” Hospital in Iași, who was pre-arrested for 30 days, must be held accountable if the Justice will confirm the existence of the facts presented in the public space.
“My position is clear in this situation: if, of course, justice will confirm the existence of the facts presented in the public space, I consider it inadmissible for a doctor to resort to these actions”, she said.