The Maryland State Board of Physicians suspended the medical licenses of abortion doctors Iris E. Dominy and Mansour G. Panah after the death of 38 year-old Maria Santiago and other investigations into the practices of the clinics.
According to the order published by the board, Dominy left Santiago unattended after administering sedation and performing an abortion. An uncertified staff member told Dominy that the patient was not breathing and called 911. Santiago died two days later from severe pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome and hypoxic brain injury.
Dominy’s “actions constitute a substantial likelihood of risk of serious harm to the public health, safety and welfare, which imperatively requires the immediate suspension of her license to practice medicine,” according to the report.
Dominy and Panah ran Associates in OB/GYN Care, LLC in Baltimore, Maryland. Panah, the medical director of the four clinics in Baltimore, Frederick, Cheverly and Silver Spring, was responsible for patient care at the time of Santiago’s death, according to Lifenews.com.
The board found that Panah “constitutes an imminent threat to the public, which imperatively requires the suspension of his license.”
The clinic in Baltimore was already under scrutiny by the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality at the time of Santiago’s death for allowing unlicensed and untrained staff “to perform ultrasounds, evaluate fetal gestational aid, and provide medication that promotes abortions to patients.”
The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality determined that the Baltimore office “was not equipped to complete a procedure safely … failed to implement a safe discharge plan for the patient … [which] could have resulted in a serious or life threatening harm or death to the patient” and suspended their licenses to operate.
The Cheverly clinic had expired pads for its Automated External Defibrillator. The nurse at the facility did not know how to use the AED machine and the District Manager admitted that the nurses had not been trained how to use the machine. At the Baltimore and Silver Spring locations, the Office of Health Care Quality found that the physicians did not “perform surgical abortion services in a safe manner.”
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also suspended the licenses of the four licenses held by OB/GYN Care to operate surgical abortion facilities. A letter sent to OB/GYN Care states that “the public health, safety or welfare imperatively required emergency action” on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene.
According to the letter, the Office of Health Care Quality received an anonymous complaint about patient care at the facilities in Baltimore, which launched the investigation. A patient arrived for a scheduled abortion, but no physician was present. An uncertified and untrained employee proceeded to have the patient fill out initial paperwork, performed an ultrasound, and administered medication used to induce abortions, all while there was no physician present.
The physician, Panah, declined to complete the abortion because “the facility [was] not equipped to do this procedure safely.”
Panah was previously disciplined by the Board for engaging in unwanted sexual contact with patients in 1988 and 1995. His medical license was suspended for 45 days in 1988 and 60 days with a three-year probation in 1995.