Board revokes doctor's license after patient death

Saturday, March 12th 2005, 11:50 am

By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A Lawton doctor accused of failing to respond to the worsening condition of a surgical patient has lost his license and been fined $10,000 by the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.

A board complaint against Dr. Ajay Bhargava of Lawton indicated the physician had his staff privileges suspended 28 times at Southwestern Medical Center and 14 times at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Both are Lawton hospitals.

In 2004, Bhargava had a medical records error rate that at one point was as high as 58 percent at Southwestern Medical Center in Lawton. He was suspended from the hospital for 30 days.

In 2002, Bhargava performed a procedure on a woman with abdominal pain.

As her condition worsened, hospital staff attempted to contact him ``by repeatedly calling him and paging him.''

However, Bhargava ``failed to return to the hospital for 28 hours,'' and he didn't implement necessary tests for the woman in a timely manner, according to board records. The woman died.

In a 2003 case, the Lawton physician ``intentionally'' placed a colon scope in the wrong part of a female patient's body.

The state board also cited Bhargava for answering ``No'' on a licensure-renewal questionnaire asking him if he had ever lost staff privileges or had been disciplined at any state hospital.

The Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision on Thursday also revoked the license of Idabel physician Dr. Mark Valentine who is accused of abusing pain killers.

Valentine, of Idabel, was cited for performing surgery while impaired by the pain medication Vicodin at McCurtain Memorial Hospital.

The Oklahoma medical board found Valentine guilty of unprofessional conduct, and his medical license was revoked. He can re-apply in one year.

In other action, Dr. Krishnamurphy Ashok of Oklahoma City agreed not to practice medicine until a May 5 licensure board hearing.

In 2004, Ashok was charged with a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol after a previous felony conviction.

Ashok had previous DUI arrests in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ralph Richter of Tulsa had a ``letter of concern'' placed in his personnel file after a board complaint accused him of saying he examined patients in 2002 when, in fact, Richter was on vacation.

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