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A surgeon based in New Jersey has been accused of reusing anal catheters on multiple patients for more than a year. The colon and rectal surgeon, Sanjiv K Patankar has reportedly washed and reused catheters on his patients' rectums during medical procedures. The news has been confirmed by Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs through a recently issued statement.

A grave medical crime

According to the statement, Sanjiv K Patankar ordered just five catheters, and with this limited supply, the surgeon performed 82 procedures. As an aftermath, the medical license of the doctor has been temporarily suspended. The doctor was working at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey before he got suspended.

"It is appalling that a doctor would engage in such an unsanitary and dangerous practice. Through his alleged conduct, Dr. Patankar has demonstrated a reckless disregard for public safety that placed countless patients at risk of communicable diseases," said Porrino in the statement.

Some of his medical assistants too admitted that Patankar asked them to clean the catheters so that it can be used on other patients too.

The state Board of Medical Examiners unanimously agreed to suspend the doctor's license, as his act has placed the patients in imminent danger. The doctor's license will continue being suspended until the Board of Medical Examiners takes a final decision.

What are anal catheters?

Anal catheters are basically plastic tubes that are inserted into the anus to collect stool samples which can be used to test abnormalities. While performing the test, the inserted tube in the patient's rectum inflates a small balloon to open the rectal cavity. The balloon is inflated by the medical practitioner with the help of a gauge pressure attached to the other end. Anorectal manometry will be later used to evaluate patients having constipation and lack of bowel control.