Resignations follow Baltimore hospital's HIV test debacle
The president of a Baltimore hospital that gave hundreds of suspect HIV and hepatitis C tests to patients has resigned along with two doctors who managed the hospital's laboratory, officials announced. Timothy D. Miller stepped down from the helm of Maryland General Hospital, where more than 400 patients may have received incorrect test results during a 14-month period ending in August 2003. A former hospital lab worker notified city officials last year of problems. Inspectors determined that workers had manipulated and eliminated machine readings showing that blood tests might be inaccurate and should be discarded. The hospital is trying to find and retest all patients who received the suspect tests.
Miller said he believed that the hospital's medical staff has worked diligently to address shortcomings in the lab. "I firmly believe, however, that my resignation is necessary in order to help the hospital move forward in restoring the full faith and confidence of the entire community in the institution," he said in a statement.
The hospital also announced Tuesday the resignations of Philip Whelan, lab director and head of the pathology department, and James Stewart, the lab's administrative director.
The former lab worker who first reported the problems, Kristin Turner, has stated that thousands of people might have received faulty test results. She blamed the machine used in blood tests for an accident in which she contracted HIV and hepatitis C. She has sued the hospital and the company that makes the machine, seeking $30 million in damages. (Associated Press)