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Abortionist Charles L. Johnson
Botched abortions in Ohio
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Dr. Charles L. Johnson practices in Colorado, and has been repeatedly in trouble with the medical board. His original disciplinary actions were regarding abortion patients. Evidently he decided that he was getting into to much trouble as an abortionist. He opened a family practice.

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The medical board faulted Johnson for his care of a woman they identify as "Patient A". I'll refer to her as "Arlene".

Arlene was a patient at Johnson's Family Medicine Practice. Arlene was given numerous prescriptions for medications including Diazepam, Flurazepam, Xanax, Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodeme, Tylenol with Codeine, Paxil, Celexa, and Soma. "These drugs, with varying regularity, were prescribed for at least thirteen and one-half months, January 2003 through February 2004" by various doctors at Johnson's office. For all these prescriptions, Arlene was seen only once by Johnson and five times by other doctors in the practice. Johnson's name was on 27 of the prescriptions, almost all of which were refills or renewals of previous prescriptions.

In October of 2003, Dr. C., one of the doctors in Johnson's practice, got a call from Arlene's daughter, informing him that Arlene had been hospitalized for three weeks in August and September, and was put in a nursing home for a short time, due to a possible overdose of her medications. Dr. C. put a note that Arlene wasn't to be given any more prescriptions for Valium or pain medication until she was seen again in the office.

Johnson last saw Arlene on January 28, 2004. He noted that she was being treated for major depression, but there was no note of a psychological examination, her psychiatric history, or notes about whether she was suicidal. Johnson's last contact with Arlene was a phone call on February 17, 2004. At that time, Johnson prescribed Soma, a muscle relaxant.

Arlene died February 20, 2004, from mixed drug intoxication from prescription medications.

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The medical board faulted Johnson with his care of a patient they identify as "B.H." To avoid depersonalizing her, I'll refer to her as "Brandy".

Brandy was 32 years old and 22 to 23 weeks pregnant when she underwent an abortion by Johnson on February 5, 1990. Johnson did not discuss Brandy's medical history with her, nor did he obtain informed consent. He didn't record observations of Brandy's pre-operative emotional or mental state. He didn't perfrom an ultrasound, a physical examination, blood or other testing, or take Brandy's vital signs prior to the abortion. He didn't discuss the risks of general anesthesia, but recommended it based on the gestation age.

Brandy was ill the day of the abortion. Johnson didn't record the method used to dilate her cervix, nor did he record the dosage or type of anesthesia. He didn't record who administered the anesthesia, or if there was an IV in place. There was no record of Brandy's vital signs during the abortion.

Johnson's notes did indicate that he chose a suction aspiration method for Brandy's abortion, which is an inappropriate method for a 22-week pregnancy.

The post-abortion note indicates uterine atony and a blood pressure of 90/60 -- but doesn not note the time this was observed. Brandy's pulse was recorded as 100, but again there was no mention of the time or of who made this observation.

Brandy was discharged before her vital signs could be documented as normal and stable. Brandy was bleeding profusely and was unable to walk unaided to the car.

Though Johnson knew that Brandy was returning by private car to Florence from Colorado Springs (circa 40 miles by map), he failed to provide written post-operative instructions or emergency contact persons.

Brandy arrived at an emergency room at 1:40 am with profuse bleeding. She was in shock, with no measurable blood pressure. Brandy treatment including four units of blood. (Stipulation and Final Agency Order; complaint by Attorney General of Colorado)

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The medical board also faulted Johnson for his care of a patient they identify as "J.T." I'll call her "Jolene".

Jolene underwent an abortion by Johnson on February 20, 1990. The health history form, presumably completed by Jolene, indicated a history of high blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, toxemia and C-section in prior pregnancy. There was no record that these conditions were noted elsewhere or discussed with Jolene prior to proceeding with the abortion.

Jolene's pregnancy was determined to be 22 weeks by date. Johnson's records do not show counseling or informed consent or observation of pre-operative mental or emotional state. Johnson did not perform an ultrasound, physical examination, or blood and other tests. There was no note that Jolene's vital signs were taken prior to the abortion.

Jolene's pre-operative, intraoperative, and post-operative charts were incomplete and inadequate. Johnson failed to note the method of dilation of Jolene's cervix, dosage or type of anesthesia, personnel administering anesthesia, and whether an IV was in place. There was no note of the identity of nurses or other assisting personnel.

The records indicate that Johnson performed a suction abortion, which was an incorrect method for a 22-week pregnancy. The records document a cervical tear and repair, but fail to record the amount of blood loss. Johnson likewise failed to record the time or duration of post-abortion observation or by whom Jolene was observed> There were no readings of vital signs during the post-operative period.

Jolene was discharged without any recorded follow-up or emergency care instructions, and without noting vital signs stable and normal.

The next day Jolene was taken by ambulance to a hospital, in shock secondary to blood loss post-abortion. Doctors diagnosed tachycardia (racing pulse) and hematoma. Hospital staff noted laceration of Jolene's uterus, extended deep into her pelvis. The end of Jolene's ovarian vein was lacerated and tied. Hospital staff also noted kinking of Jolene's ureter by the suture Johnson used to repair her cervix. (Stipulation and Final Agency Order; complaint by Colorado Attorney General)

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Regarding abortion patients B.H., J.T., V.F., I.M., and K.S., treated during 1990-91: the medical board "possesses a prima facie case that certain aspects of Respondent's care ... constitute two or more acts or omissions which fail to meet generally-accepted standards of medical practice." (Stipulation and Final Agency Order)

"For the year 1990, respondent reports three complications for 134 second trimester abortions performed. His major complication rate ... is approximately 10 times the standard of care for this procedure." Johnson was placed on probation by the medical board from August 21, 1992 until May 31, 1995 due to complaints of acts or omissions failing to meet generally-accepted standards of medical practice. (Complaint by Attorney General; Stipulation and Final Agency Order, Colorado Board of Medical Examiners)

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