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Hedgesville, W.Va., doctor answers complaints

January 14, 1998

Hedgesville, W.Va., doctor answers complaints


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Hedgesville, W.Va., doctor this week filed an answer to complaints filed by the West Virginia Board of Medicine about 18 operations she performed between 1987 and 1994.

A hearing for Dr. Danine Rydland. a gynecologist and surgeon, is scheduled for Feb. 26 and 27 in Charleston, W.Va. An examiner will review the complaints before recommending action to the board.

The complaint, filed Dec. 12, charged Rydland with "failing to practice medicine with that level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized by a reasonable, prudent physician."


A spokeswoman for the board said any possible disciplinary actions could include a public reprimand, a fine, or loss of license.

Rydland's attorney, Michael Allen of Charleston, declined to comment.

In the response, filed Monday, Rydland asked for the complaint to be dismissed, in part because the statute of limitations has expired on some of the allegations.

The complaint alleged surgical problems ranging from lacerated bladders and arteries, a perforated uterus, patients prematurely discharged and problems with post-operative bleeding and the healing of incisions. In one case from 1991, a drain was was left in a patient, requiring further surgery, the complaint alleged.

The surgeries were performed at City Hospital in Martinsburg on women identified only by their initials.

In May 1996 the hospital reported to the board that restrictions had been placed on certain surgeries performed by Rydland, "based on quality of care concerns."

Rydland's answer denied that her care was substandard and noted that one of the cited cases already had been the subject of a complaint before the board.

In that 1994 case, the board found "no probable cause ... to substantiate the charges and the matter was closed," the response stated.

In several cases, Rydland's response said, there were common complications that were treated appropriately. One patient, a 64-year-old diabetic, was "at high risk for wound problems because of her medical problems, her weight and her cancer."

Another patient who had trouble healing an incision was also overweight and thus at risk for a similar complication, the response said.

As for the drain being left inside a patient, Rydland's response said she believed it had been removed when dressings were changed. Its later removal required an incision that "was only about an inch long."

In one case, the response said, a more thorough work-up should have been done and "the patient should not have been discharged with a fever."

Rydland was with a patient and did not return a call Tuesday. A hospital official also did not return a call.

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