Supreme Court Didn’t Know: 16 of 17 Texas Abortion Facilities Miserably FAILED Health Inspections

Patients are still in danger from appalling conditions and practices at Texas abortion facilities — and it will only get worse!

An Operation Rescue Special Report
By Cheryl Sullenger

Austin, TX – When the Supreme Court tossed out certain provisions of a Texas abortion safety law earlier this year, in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, it did so without considering egregious conditions that exist in Texas abortion facilities, which prompted the passage of the contested legislation in the first place.

Operation Rescue now has evidence in the form of public documents that proves 16 of 17 Texas abortion facilities miserably failed recent health and safety inspections conducted by the Department of State Health Services between August 2015 and June 2016. This information shows that Texas abortion facilities continue to pose a significant danger to the lives and health of women.

The most recent inspection reports for each Texas abortion facility were obtained from the Texas Department of State Health Services in response to Operation Rescue’s Freedom of Information Act request.

“As far as I know, these inspection deficiency reports were never submitted to the Supreme Court’s consideration. The reports show us that more oversight is needed for abortion facilities, not less,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We expect conditions at Texas abortion facilities will continue to deteriorate in the wake of the Supreme Court’s errant ruling that protects abortion businesses and their sloppy, corners-cutting practices above the health and welfare of women and their babies.”

Of the 17 surgical abortion facilities in Texas that require licensing, eight are licensed as “Ambulatory Surgical Centers.” These clinics are required to meet stricter standards than the remaining nine facilities, which are licensed simply as “Abortion Facilities.”

Annual Inspections

In Texas, Ambulatory Surgical Centers and Abortion Facilities are required to submit to annual inspections. However, they do not appear to be required to pass the inspections in order to be licensed or have their licenses renewed.

Facilities are required to submit a plan of correction, but of the 17 inspection reports obtained by Operation Rescue, there is no evidence that any follow-up visit ever took place to ensure the often egregious violations were ever corrected.

Infection Control Failures

Of particular concern was a failure in 13 out of 17 facilities to ensure infection control protocols were developed and implemented to provide a sanitary environment and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Proper hand washing by staff, considered among the most basic and common-sense infection control measures, was an issue at several facilities. Inspectors observed clinic staff failing to wash their hands before and after the use of gloves, as required. This was particularly disturbing when the failure occurred after involvement in bloody abortion procedures, and after handling aborted baby remains.

Critical areas in many clinics were found to be unclean and/or covered with a layer of dust and debris. But it was the failure of staff to understand or practice proper sterilization techniques for surgical instruments used on women during abortions that was particularly disturbing. This had the potential to negatively impact the health of every patient that received an abortion, and in some cases, every patient that walked through the facility door.

In 10 out of 17 facilities, protocols involving testing and maintenance of the autoclave, where surgical instruments are sterilized, were not followed. There was an absence of testing in several facilities to ensure there were no biological contaminants in the autoclave or whether it reached a sufficient temperature to complete sterilization. In other cases, peel pouches that were to hold the sterilized instruments were not properly sealed.

In one facility, Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, tape was used to close the so-called “sterile” pouches, which were too small for the instruments they held.

This means that unsterile, contaminated surgical implements and supplies are being used on women during abortions at facilities in Texas today. This has left women subject to the spread of disease and infections.

As evidence that such infections occurred, at least one facility, the Women’s Center of Houston, was cited for the way they handled post-operative infections, which appeared to occur on a regular basis.

Overall Slothful Sanitation Practices

Citations were also issued for serious violations that existed for years, despite certification that each facility meet licensing requirements.

Some facilities had medications and supplies available for patient use that had expired years before. Others lacked policies and procedures that should have been in place prior to licensing, which were related to staff training, infection control training and protocols, and testing employees for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.

One facility, the Suburban Women’s Center on Red Oak Drive in Houston, had a Medical Director who said he did not know his staff needed to be tested for tuberculosis and Hepatitis B, leaving patients at risk of having these diseases transmitted to them by untested staff.

That same Medical Director signed off on minutes to mandatory quarterly quality control meetings that only he attended, leaving doubt about how seriously he takes quality control. Based on the violations cited at his abortion facility, quality control appears non-existent.

He was also caught with a bottle of Morphine Sulfate in his unlocked desk drawer. He told inspectors that he opened one bottle each month and used it on several patients, but his story did not ring true. The bottle was labeled for single use. It contained no anti-microbial preservative and should have been discarded after one usage.

Other violations of note within the reports included:

• Failure to post required information where complaints could be filed against the facility. (Planned Parenthood in Dallas & Austin)
• Failure to report child abuse on a minor patient (Austin Women’s Health Center)
• Failure to observe waiting periods (Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Clinic & Reproductive Services)
• Call button for use by patients was placed out of reach of anyone who suffered a fall. (Planned Parenthood in Dallas)
• Failure to examine women prior to surgical procedures. (Planned Parenthood in Dallas & Ft. Worth, Southwestern Women’s Surgical Center)
• Cracked and/or contaminated vaginal ultrasound probe. (Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Clinic & Suburban Women’s Clinic)
• Cross-contamination of instruments/supplies with aborted baby remains. (Houston Women’s Clinic & Whole Women’s Health in San Antonio)

Need for Licensing Reform

Despite conditions and practices that are reminiscent of Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “House of Horrors” abortion facility, the 16 Texas abortion facilities that failed inspections still qualified for licensing.

It is now obvious that regulatory reforms are needed to protect women from the serious health dangers posed by Texas abortion facilities. Abortion facilities should be required not only to submit to inspections, but also pass them before Ambulatory Surgical Facility or Abortion Facility licenses are issued or renewed. If the facility cannot comply, its ability to conduct abortion should be suspended for safety reasons.

It may have been beneficial for the Supreme Court Justices to have reviewed the inspection documents prior to declaring common-sense safety provisions to be an undue burden. It appears the Supreme Court’s undue burden referred to slovenly abortion businesses that complain about having to clean up. However, for women, those provisions were far from burdensome; they were protection. In fact, they were the only layer of protection they had from unsafe conditions and practices that continue to endanger them at Texas abortion facilities today – including Whole Women’s Health, the abortion business that challenged the constitutionality of Texas abortion safety law.

“It is troubling that in the wake of the Hellerstedt decision, the mainstream media continues their propaganda campaign to convince the public that abortion facilities are clean, safe, and in no need of regulation or oversight, when nothing could be further from the truth,” said Newman. “The indisputable facts are evident in the inspection records, and those facts are ugly enough to make a Billy goat puke.”

Operation Rescue has been raising the alarm about the dangers of Texas abortion facilities for years. In 2011, Operation Rescue conducted a random investigation of Texas abortion facilities that exposed serious health concerns that resulted in fines and disciplinary action against two Whole Women’s Health abortion facilities and two of their abortionists.

In 2013, Operation Rescue brought to light accusations made by former clinic workers against Douglas Karpen, a Houston abortionist, which were supported by photographic documentation. The women claimed Karpen was committing murder by twisting the necks of babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions. While a grand jury controlled by a corrupt district attorney with close ties to Karpen’s attorney failed to indict him, but the media attention on the Gosnell-life horrors contributed to the passage of HB2, the law that was considered in the Hellerstedt decision.

The chart below lists the name of each abortion facility and categories of violations that were recently discovered there. Below the chart are summaries of violations found in the inspection reports for each facility, along with links to the documents themselves.

Texas Abortion Facility Violations – Chart by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS (8)
5 Planned Parenthood facilities, 3 Independent facilities

pp-austin
1. Planned Parenthood
201 E. Ben White Blvd.
Austin, TX 76704

Inspection completed: December 1, 2015
Report signed by Kenneth Lambrecht, President and CEO.
View Inspection Report (8 pages).

Summary of Violations:

• For seven patients, there was no documentation that post-operative patients left the facility with a responsible adult. No operating abortionist recorded an order stating the patients could leave without the company of a responsible adult.
• Small pieces of “debris” and trash were found around the patient bed in both of the facility’s operating rooms.
• Bed foot rests in both operating rooms were covered with socks that were never changed between patients.
• Tape on the supply cart and walls (holding ammonia inhalants) rendered surfaces unable to be properly cleaned.
• Ineffective cleaning in OR areas, including the discovery of heavy dust on horizontal surfaces, including the OR lights.
• Suture kits were “sterilized” with hemostats closed, meaning that all surfaces were not properly sanitized. Other sterilization protocols were ignored, meaning that instruments used on patients were undoubtedly contaminated.
• Patient tubing and curettes were stored under the sink in OR 2 exposing them to the possibility of splash contamination.
• Open and partially used vials of lidocaine were improperly stored in the autoclave room.
• External shipping containers (considered “dirty” items contaminated with hosts of microbes) were stored on a shelf above patient care items, risking cross-contamination.
• Failed to post information telling patients how to contact the Department of State Health Services with complaints. Information posts in some areas was inaccurate.

pp-dallas

2. Planned Parenthood
7989 West Virginia Ste. 102
Dallas, TX 75237

Inspection completed: December 17, 2015
Report signed by Kenneth Lambrecht, President and CEO.
View Inspection Report (19 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failed to post the Patient’s Bill of Rights in the main waiting room as required by Ambulatory Surgical Center regulations.
• Failed to include results of Physician’s physical examination in patient records. There was no record such examinations ever took place.
• Failed to have a physician or advanced practice registered nurse examine patients prior to release.
• Admitted that the abortionist never sees patients except during the procedure or in the event of a complication.
• Failure to maintain a safe, sanitary environment.
• A large circle of a dark brown substance — possibly blood — was found on the waiting room floor.
• Pre-Op call button located where patients could not reach it in the event of a fall, risking patient safety.
• Patient’s belongings stored on a bench in front of the commode.
• “Huge brown stains” on three ceiling tiles in the Post-Op bathroom.
• Patient’s snack foods stored in a box on the floor – some directly on the floor.
• No gauge on the oxygen tank.
• No preventive maintenance on the vital signs machine (last inspected 9/2014).
• Cabinet was peeling and cracking above where sterile instruments were wrapped.
• Patient supplies and sterile instruments stored in manner that could cause contamination.
• No preventative maintenance on two suction machines available for patient use.
• Cardboard boxes were found on the floor being improperly used for storage throughout facility.
• Dirty needles were found in boxes near where opened sterile patient supplies were stored.
• Mop bucket filled with dirty brown water was observed.
• No shelving in the janitorial closet. Cleaning supplies stored on floor next to the dirty mop bucket.
• Bags of clean linen stored in bags on the floor.
• Staff wore no personal protective equipment (PPE) used when handling dirty linens.
• Patients’ laundry done in the facility’s washer and dryer and handled without PPE.
• The Biohazard waste room had an unsealed cement floor that could not be adequately cleaned; posed infectious risk.
• Failed to provide safe environment: Personnel failed to wear proper operating room attire.
• Failed to wear appropriate head covers in emergency room.
• Failed to monitor conditions where sterile instruments stored, risking fire or microbial contamination.
• Failed to record Hepatitis B vaccinations for half of staff, posing the possibility that patients were exposed to Hepatitis B.
• Peel packages containing “sterile” instruments were not sealed correctly, allowing for contamination.
• Failed to store medication in a safe and secure area.
• Failure to post information on how to contact the Department of State Health Services to file a complaint against the facility.

pp-ftw
3. Planned Parenthood
6464 John Ryan Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76132

Inspection completed: January 20, 2016.
Report signed by Sheila McKinney, COO.
View Inspection Report (16 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Three of three registered nurses had no documentation that they received orientation and training to conduct conscious sedation.
• Failed to include in charts the results of physician’s physical exam for all surgical and medication abortion abortion patients.
• No procedures for surveillance techniques that could minimize infection control. No surveillance was being performed to reduce infection transmission.
• Failed to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for surgical abortion patients.
• Expired laminaria (one expired on 9/2014 and one on 4/2015).
• Three suction machines used on patients in the three operating rooms had no preventative maintenance stickers and no evidence of any preventative maintenance checks.
• Expired needles, some of which expired three years previously.
• No oxygen tank for use in emergency situations.
• Cardboard shipping box and feather duster stored next to “sterile” patient supplies.
• Clean and sterile supplies kept on a dirty floor littered with trash.
• Electrical outlet with exposed wiring and no cover posed an electrical hazard.
• Wall beside the dryer had multiple spots where the plaster was missing. Wall could not be cleaned.
• Automatic vital signs equipment with no indication if they were clean or dirty.
• Packaged food products for patients were sitting on a dust-covered cart. Two other carts were also unclean.
• No oxygen tank in the recovery room.
• Personnel failed to wear proper operating room attire, including head covers.
• Failed to maintain sterility of surgical instruments.
• “Sterile” packaging was not sealed correctly in all three procedure rooms, opening them to contaminants.
• Failed to maintain performance records for the autoclave, so no one really knew if it was working properly.
• Risk of Hepatitis B infection for other staff and all patients from four workers with unknown Hepatitis B status.
• Failed to conduct monthly inspection of fire extinguishers.

pp-houston
4. Planned Parenthood
4600 Gulf Freeway, Suite 300
Houston, TX 7023

Inspection completed: December 10, 2015
Report signed by Tram Nguyen, Administrator.
View Inspection Report (9 pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Staff failed to wash hands before donning gloves and between glove changes as required.
• In “Products of Conception Room,” dirty surgical instruments were washed in the hand-washing sink.
• Staff never used a measuring device for enzymatic cleaner when washing surgical instruments nor could they verbalize the required water to detergent ratio.
• Some staff had no documentation that they were ever trained in sterile instrument processing.
• Clean instrument area had packages containing cervical dilators that were contaminated with dime-sized brown splotches.
• Daily testing of autoclave for biological contamination was done in a way that invalidated the results.
• In an Operating Room, a metal stand holding a suction machine was rusty on top and bottom. (Rust cannot be disinfected.)
• After “Physician #17” conducted a surgical abortion on “Patient #6,” she removed her gloved, but did not wash her hands before reaching for a pen to write on the chart.
• “Physician #17” told an inspector that it was “kind of overwhelming” to have people watching her conduct abortions.
• A registered nurse injected “Patient #6” with medications through her IV port without first sanitizing the port. (Infection risk.)
• Failed to document the competencies of all registered nurses to provide sedation, even though they routinely administered sedation drugs.
• RN #3 never received formal training in sedation.

pp-san-antonio
5. Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgery Center
2140 Babcock Road
San Antonio, TX 78229

Inspection completed: November 17, 2015
Report signed by Polin Barraza, RN, Vice Chair/Secretary.
View Inspection Report (2 pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failed to have policies in place “necessary for the orderly conduct of the ASC.”
• Allowed unlicensed staff free access to the narcotics cabinet when access should have been restricted only to licensed staff that dispensed such medication.

swo-sc-dallas-tx
6. Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center
8616 Greenville Ave. Ste. 101
Dallas, TX 75243

Inspection completed November 24, 2015
Report signed by Jeni Beaver, Administrator.
(Facility conducts 50 suction abortions per day.)
View Inspection Report (22 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Biohazard room was packed floor to ceiling with bags of soiled linens and biohazard boxes. There was a refrigerator that contained aborted baby remains, but the room was so junky, that the inspector could not access that refrigerator or check its temperature.
• On the second day of the inspection, soiled linen bags were crammed into nearly every available space, including the patient recovery room. Again access to the refrigerator storing aborted baby remains was not possible.
• Failed to ensure all staff were properly credentialed, including abortionists and nurses
• One abortionist had no evidence of proper credentials, failed to sign his credentialing application, and never underwent a background check for current or past criminal conduct, as required.
• Failure to conduct a follow up appointment for some patients who took the abortion drug Misoprostol.
• Staff not properly trained to operate an autoclave or ensure surgical instruments were properly sterilized.
• No evidence of physical examinations for several surgical abortion patients before or after their procedures.
• Failed to monitor temperature patient medication refrigerator for at least three months. When it was monitored, it the temperature recorded was either below freezing or below the normal range. This was never reported to the administrator as required.
• Failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.
• Patient linens improperly stored and prone to contamination.
• Drawer containing so-called “sterile” instruments was so full that opening it tore a hole in a package containing a vaginal speculum, contaminating it.
• Syringes were stored under the hand washing sink next to cleaning supplies.
• Patient syringes were stored in a basket near the hand-washing sink. After the inspector washed her hands, she noticed that as she reached for a paper towel to dry her hands, water dripped onto the syringes.
• Open jug of cold disinfectant that was faded and discolored with no label as to when it was opened. That disinfectant requires that the lid must be in place at all times except when in use.
• Open critical patient supplies were stored in cardboard shipping boxes, which are known to be rife with microbial contamination. The open boxes were stored on a shelf near the floor where they were subject to dust contamination.
• Cart storing “clean” linen was covered with dirt and particulate matter.
• Floor of the storage room was covered with dirt and trash.
• An O2 tank holder was dirty and laying in such a way that the filthy wheel was rubbing against paper towels used by patients and clinic staff.
• Failed to wear proper attire in the operating room, including head covers.
• Failed to monitor humidity in area where sterilized equipment was stored. Low humidity poses fire risk from electrostatic charges while high humidity poses risk of microbial growth.
• Failure to maintain the sterility of instruments.
• Surgical implements were not properly sterilized following standard protocols and some packaging was improperly closed with tape. leading to contamination.
• Instrument packets were coming out of the autoclave wet, indicating a sterilization malfunction.
• Staff lacked the training and knowledge to realize that the autoclave malfunction posed an infection-control issue.
• Autoclave logs of temperatures reached, pressures reached, length of time sterilized were non-existent.
• Failed to maintain performance records for the Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment (consisting of a hand-held syringe used to suction the early-term baby from the womb.)
• No documentation or records to show how many times MVA syringe was used. (Must be discarded after 25-30 uses.)
• Failed to have safety checks done on a suction machine in use on patients. It had no safety inspection label.
• Both oxygen tanks were not properly secured in holders as required, creating a safety hazard.

tx-ambulatory
7. Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center
2505 N. Shepherd Dr.
Houston, TX 77008

Inspection completed: January 14, 2016
Report signed by Douglas Karpen, Medical Director.
View Inspection Report (7 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Had no RN on staff, as required for ASC licensure. No RN monitoring patients while procedures were done.
• “Dr. C” (Karpen) holds no hospital privileges. Conducted RN duties since he was not allowed to conduct abortions, but he does not hold an RN license.
• Dubiously qualified Operating Room Assistant was “trained” by Karpen, and was assisting with all surgical procedures instead of an RN as required.
• Expired medications and supplies were observed on emergency crash cart and anesthesia cart in the operating room.

alamo-city
8. Alamo City Surgery Center
7402 John Smith Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78229

Inspection completed: November 24, 2015
Unsigned
View the Inspection Report (1 Page).

This was the only Texas abortion facility found in compliance.

ABORTION FACILITIES (9)

austin-womens-health-ctr
1. Austin Women’s Health Center
1902 South IH 35
Austin, TX 78704

Inspection completed: June 7, 2016
No signature.
View Inspection Report (12 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failed to fully fill out DSHS Child Abuse Reporting Forms.
• Failed to report suspected child abuse for minor abortion patient.
• Failed to secure hazardous cleaning solutions and compounds, risking harm to patients
• Failed to ensure that abortion-inducing drugs were used according to FDA regulations that require women to visit the physician in person for each of the two doses. (Flouted the regulations prior to the change in FDA protocols.)
• Patients were provided Misoprostol tablets to administer themselves in violation of FDA protocols in effect at the time of the abortion.
• Failed to provide all medication abortion patients with the name and phone number of the nearest hospital to the home of the patient at which an emergency arising from the abortion would be treated.

hilltop
2. Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Clinic
500 East Schuster, Building B
El Paso, TX 79902

Inspection completed: August 4, 2015
Report signed by RN, Nurse Administrator, (name redacted).
Facility owned and operated by abortionist Franz C. Theard.
View Inspection Report (9 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Patients living more than 100 miles from the facility did not wait two hours after having an ultrasound before their abortions took place in violation of the law.
• Six minor patients indicated on a form that they were obtaining abortions in accordance with judicial bypass procedures, but had no evidence they were ever granted a judicial bypass.
• No documentation that those minor patients received required verbal explanation of the results of their ultrasound images, as required by law.
• Failed to provide patients with the name and phone number of the nearest hospital to their homes in the event of an emergency.
• The ultrasound vaginal probe had black tape around the handle, making it impossible to sanitize. The probe was stored in a slot lined with a soggy paper towel – a prime environment for bacterial growth.
• Failed to ensure sterilization equipment was maintained and operated to ensure proper sterilization.
• Failed to conduct tests on autoclave that ensured mechanical integrity.

reproductive-services
3. Reproductive Services
1511 East Missouri
El Paso, TX 79902

Inspection completed: May 25, 2016
Report signed by “Administrator,” name redacted.
View Inspection Report (8 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

Information about violations plan of correction on pages 1-2 and 7-8 were completely redacted.

• Facility failed to store hazardous cleaning solutions and compounds in a secure manner, risking patient safety.
• Failed to use sterilization process indicators in each package of instruments to be sterilized. There was no way to tell if the instruments were properly sterilized.
• Failed to comply with the 24-hour waiting period before conducting an abortion on at least one patient.
• Failed to provide patients with the name and phone number of the nearest hospital to their homes in the event of an emergency.

houston-womens-clinic
4. Houston Women’s Clinic
4820 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77004

Inspection completed: September 23, 2015
Inspection was result of a complaint and for re-licensing
Report signed by “Medical Director,” name redacted.
Facility owned and operated by abortionist Bernard Rosenfeld.
View Inspection Report (19 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failure to ensure that staff were trained and competent in sterilization protocols for surgical instruments.
• Failed to ensure a safe and sanitary environment to protect the health of the patients.
• Failed to store and administer drugs in a safe manner.
• All three procedure rooms had padded exam tables with rips and tears, making sanitizing impossible.
• One exam table had a roll of clear plastic tape stuck to it, which cannot be sanitized.
• Multiple contaminated cardboard boxes were full of patient supplies and stored in operating rooms on the floor near the exam tables posing an infection control issue.
• Bottom shelf of a cabinet in the “Decontamination Room” was filthy.
• Patient medications were stored in a drawer in the employee break room, instead of being properly secured in a locked cabinet.
• 20 pre-poured tablets of an unlabeled drug were stored in cups on the counter.
• Failed to enforce infection control policies to minimize transmission of infection by failing to date multi-dose vials when opened.
• Staff failed to wash/sanitize hands after removing contaminated gloves.
• One worker handled “products of conception” without a glove on one hand. When finished rinsing and examining tissue, the staff member removed the other glove then left the room without washing her hands.
• The same staff member then grabbed a cart used to transport the aborted baby remains to and from the operating room and pushed it into the “clean” room. When confronted, the staff member said she was “sorry.”
• Failed to keep clean supplies separated from contaminated equipment and “products of conception.” (Lacked storage space so they kept supplies like exam gloves and sanitary pads on open shelves in the same room where blood from abortions was discarded and aborted baby remains were rinsed and handled.
• Failed to maintain a log for testing that was meant to ensure the autoclave was free from biologic contamination. (Eight months since last entry.)
• Failed to follow manufacturer’s instructions on the use of disinfectant used on surgical instruments.
• Failed to maintain performance records for the two autoclaves. (Last entry nine months before.)
• Failed to provide documentation to show the two RNs were trained and competent to administer sedation.
• So-called “training” for one nurse in sedation administration included “shadowing” other nurses.

suburban-richmond
5. Suburban Women’s Clinic
3101 Richmond #250
Houston, TX 77098

Inspection completed: September 29, 2015
Report signed by “Medical Director,” name redacted. (Known to be Adebayo Jerry Adesomo)
View Inspection Report (3 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• No orientation to job description or clinic protocols for newly hired nurse. Potential to adversely affect patient care.
• Failed to provide training for staff in child abuse identification and reporting responsibilities.

suburban-red-oak
6. Suburban Women’s Clinic
17070 Red Oak Drive, Suite 505
Houston, TX 77090

Inspection completed: October 6, 2015
Report signed by “Medical Director,” name redacted. (Known to be Adebayo Jerry Adesomo)
View Inspection Report (29 pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failure of the nurse and clinic administrator to attend mandatory quarterly quality control meetings. (Minutes signed by the Medical Director, who was apparently the only attendee.)
• Quality Assurance Committee failed to monitor infection control practices in the facility, as required.
• Quality Assurance Committee failed to monitor medication management/practices in the facility.
• Kept drugs in an unlocked cupboard in the patient’s bathroom.
• Morphine Sulfate (single use bottle) was found in a desk file drawer. Medical Director told inspectors that he opened a new bottle each month and uses it for several patients. The Morphine Sulfate was being improperly used and not diluted as necessary. It contained no anti-microbial preservatives, and therefore should have been discarded after one use.
• Staff “A” did not know how to operate the oxygen tank and suction machine in the event of an emergency.
• Suction machine tubing had been expired for six years.
• Oxygen tank leaked oxygen around the gauge.
• Failed to provide staff inoculations for Hepatitis B or tuberculosis or ensure they had been inoculated. Medical Director did not know his staff needed to be tested for the infectious diseases.
• Failed to provide staff with infection control training.
• Failed to provide a sanitary environment.
• Pooled black stagnant water was found in the bottom of the medication refrigerator.
• Dirt and dust was allowed to accumulate in the treatment area.
• Exam Room #2 had expired medical supplies, some of which expired in 2006.
• The only bottle of ultrasound gel in the facility was expired.
• Sterilization Room had 13 groups of expired patient-use items, some of which expired in 1995.
• Multiple drugs were expired in the “Emergency Medical Kit.”
• Ultrasound room had two broken ultrasound machines, dirty oxygen tank with a nasal cannula hanging from it, and a cart with contaminated shipping boxes. Everything was covered in dust.
• Below the hand washing sink in the Ultrasound Room, there were stored supplies such as exam gloves, disposable speculums, and rolls of exam table paper – all of which were at risk of contamination.
• In Exam Rooms 1 and 2, patient blue pads were stored on the floor, syringes set up for patient procedures were unlabeled, and the suction machine was covered with rust.
• Under one exam table was a contaminated yellowed hand-made tongue blade with silk tape at one end that was unraveling.
• In the Sterilization Room, instruments were unwrapped and stored on a shelf with no indication whether they were clean or dirty.
• On one ultrasound machine, the vaginal probe tip was cracked with a black substance observed inside the crack.
• Failed to have a fire extinguisher attached to the wall where one was needed. (It was sitting on the recovery area floor.)
• Staff did not know how to operate the fire extinguishers.
• Failed to maintain sterilized equipment and instruments in sealed plastic containers in 2 out of 3 procedure rooms. Those instruments included a metal speculum, metal forceps, a metal curette, and more.
• Staff failed to label peel packs of supposedly sterilized instruments with the date and load number for infection control purposes.
• Some peel packs had brown water stains on them.
• Staff failed to perform biological testing of the autoclave (sterilization machine) for bacterial growth and possible sterilization failure.
• Failed to maintain a log to note results of bacterial growth testing on the autoclave.
• Medical Director did not understand the policy for the biological testing.
• Failed to store peel packs containing sterilized equipment in a way that would prevent contamination by crushing, puncturing, or tearing.

The final citation on the deficiency report was redacted. It may have been related to care issues involving a specific patient or patients.

womens-center-of-houston
7. Women’s Center of Houston
8200 Wednesbury Lane, Suite 230
Houston, TX 7074

Inspection completed: October 27, 2015
Report signed by someone with the title of “M.D.” with name redacted. (Known to be Yuri Joseph Nosaville)
View Inspection Report (6 Pages).

This inspection report was heavily redacted. Because of the context of the redactions, it appears they were related to specific patient complications.

Summary of Violations:

• Failure to have procedures to record each patient’s condition on discharge.
• Failed to develop, implement, or review procedures for monitoring clinical records.
• Failed to develop, implement, or review procedures for monitoring post-procedure infections.
• Post-op infections from abortion at this facility did exist because one staff member explained to the inspector how those were handled, but no written policy existed as required.
• Failed to implement infection control policies to ensure instruments are properly cleaned prior to sterilization.
• Forceps and speculums were sterilized in the closed position, leaving covered surfaces unable to be sterilized. This risked infection for all patients.
• Blood was found on forceps that had already been packaged and “sterilized.”

wwh-sa
8. Whole Women’s Health San Antonio
4025 E. Southcross Blvd., Building 5, Suite 30
San Antonio, TX 78222

Inspection completed: October 21, 2015
Report signed by: “Director of Clinical Services,” with name redacted.
View Inspection Report (22 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failed to ensure all staff were trained in the sterilization process for surgical instruments.
• Failed to use chemical indicators in peel pouches to ensure sterilization was being achieved.
• Failed to label instrument pouches with a date and sterilization batch.
• Failed to store “sterilized” surgical instruments in a manner to prevent tearing or puncturing of the peel pouches.
• Failure to properly maintain the autoclave (sterilization machine).
• Patient lab supplies were stored under a leaky sink in the lab room and were contaminated with a brown substance.
• One staff placed instruments to dry on a wet, contaminated counter top then placed her personal cell phone in a puddle on the counter. This contamination was not corrected.
• Blue wrap for surgical instruments was stored on the floor in a contaminated cardboard box.
• Aborted baby remains and dirty surgical instruments were processed in the same room with “clean” supplies with less than three feet separating the “dirty” area from the “clean” area. A fan was used in that room that ensured complete contamination.
• Sanitary pads for patients were stored on the dirty floor next to contaminated cardboard boxes and a biohazard container that was full of used needles.
• In the recovery room, contaminated cardboard shipping boxes full of blue pads used for patients were stored on the floor. The lid was open inviting further contamination.
• An unsecured oxygen tank was stored on the floor next to the water fountain used by patients and family members, which made it at risk of being knocked over.
• Four boxes of toilet paper and paper towels were stored on the floor in front of soiled hampers – also on the floor – in the laundry area. Three feet away, patient gowns and blankets and physician’s scrubs were stored on an open shelf.
• Three hampers marked with the Biohazard image were filled with used linens and sat among a clutter of cardboard boxes. The area was never cleaned by anyone during the two-day inspection.
• Baseboards throughout the facility were lifting and covered with a yellowish dirt.
• In the recovery room, the exam table had rust around the drawers and handles.
• In procedure room “Amelia,” the exam table was covered with rust.
• In procedure room “George,” emesis basins for patient use were stored improperly under the sink and were at risk of contamination.
• The suction machine had lost its bumper and was covered with dust.
• Ceiling tiles exhibited signs of water damage.
• Crash Cart in the hallway was covered in dust.
• Failure to keep records related to the usage of Manual Vacuum Aspiration equipment (a syringe used in early abortions). There was no record how many times it had been used. MVA syringes can only be used 25-50 times before they must be discarded.
• Multiple MVAs were stored on the counter at the nursing station in an open container with no lid. Another MVA was lying on a contaminated cart with no cover.
• Staff member responsible for the autoclave failed to conduct proper testing or log the necessary records related to testing and maintenance.
• Failed to discard medication in a timely manner. One syringe of Lidocaine used the previous day was still laying around.
• Failed to follow manufacturer’s instructions for use of cold disinfectant, compromising the cleaning process.
• No disinfectant log was kept as required.

wwh-mcallen
9. Whole Women’s Health of McAllen
802 South Main Street
McAllen, TX 78501

Inspection completed: November 10, 2015
Report signed by “LVN, Clinic Administrator,” with name redacted.
View Inspection Report (7 Pages).

Summary of Violations:

• Failure to provide health care in a safe, sanitary environment.
• Remains of aborted babies were stored in plain Ziploc bags in the freezer and were not labeled.
• In the sonograph room, the vinyl cover on the exam table was torn and could not be properly disinfected.
• Medications on the emergency cart were expired.
• Expired medications elsewhere in the facility were still being used on patients.
• One suction tube package was contaminated with brown substance, while another was in torn packaging, compromising its sterility.
• Hazardous cleaning solutions were not secured or stored properly.
• Failed to store sterile surgical instruments in peel pouches in a way that would prevent the pouches from being punctured or torn and therefore contaminated.
• Peel packages were not properly sealed to prevent contamination.
• Failed to ensure that all patient care personnel were certified in CPR and competent to administer it. This was a direct patient safety issue.

Effective Immediately, Appeals Court Allows Texas Abortion Law to Take Effect

A third of Texas abortionists are without hospital privileges and are now barred doing abortions

Austin, TX – Yesterday afternoon, just three days after a Federal Court judge blocked much of the new Texas abortion law, the Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued a ruling overturning the lower court and reinstating most of the law that provides standards for abortion clinics.

Included in provisions that went immediately into effect was the requirement that abortionists maintain local hospital privileges. As of today, it is estimated that a third of Texas’ 41 abortion clinics must stop providing abortions.

Among abortionists without hospital privileges, according to information provided by the Texas Medical Board, is late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, who operates two abortion clinics in Houston. Karpen made national headlines after Operation Rescue uncovered allegations and evidence provided by four former Karpen employees that he was conducting illegal late-term abortions beyond the former 24-week limit and intentionally killing late-term babies that were born alive. Karpen remains under an open criminal investigation.

“This is a huge victory for the cause of life and a great encouragement for everyone who worked so hard to ensure that these protections went into effect,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “We must now carefully monitor the abortion clinics to ensure that there is compliance with the new laws and that they are being enforced.”
Among provisions of the law that were previously found to be Constitutional by the lower court was the ban on abortions after 20 weeks when babies are known to feel pain. That part of the law automatically went into effect this week.

Read the Oct. 31, 2013 Decision

Abortionist Who Vowed Never to Stop Now Says He Will Close His Clinic

Harlingen, TX – Abortionist Lester Minto defiantly vowed earlier this month never to stop doing abortions, but yesterday he announced that he would close his abortion clinic, Reproductive Services in Harlingen, Texas, within the next 90 days. The abortion business has done 1,500-2,000 abortions yearly.

Minto, who called the Texas abortion law “an insult to women’s intelligence,” told the New York Times he would keep doing abortions “whether that means under the cover of a mesquite tree or on a shrimp boat or going to Mexico” where abortions are also illegal.

Waving a speculum at a pro-abortion rally, Minto told the crowd that the government “can’t take my gun and can’t take my speculum….You’re going to have to pry it from my cold, dead hand.”

Minto has a history of previous discipline by the Texas Medical Board.

“Maybe Minto’s threats to continue abortions illegally were just bravado, or maybe he just decided to wise up. In any case, we hope the Texas authorities keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t make good on this threats to endanger the lives of women with illegal abortions,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Minto’s abortion clinic closure is one of several already announced after Texas passed a sweeping bill bans abortions after 20 weeks gestation, raises standards on the use of the abortion pill, and puts in place safety regulations on abortion clinics, which previously were allowed to operate under dangerous conditions.

Almost immediately after the signing of the law, Planned Parenthood announced the closure of three of its Texas locations. Later, Whole Women’s Health said it would close four out of five of its locations, including its troubled clinic in McAllen, which was fined $13,475 in 2011 for illegal disposal of medical waste, including recognizable human remains, in an open dumpster.

“Women are going to be much better off without shoddy abortion clinics preying on them in a time of vulnerability and subjecting them to substandard conditions,” said Newman. “We have found that when abortion clinics close, the vast majority of women find more positive ways of dealing with the challenges of life than taking the lives of their babies. Unlike abortion, saving their babies lives is a decision they never regret.”

Texas Abortionists Use Abortion Pill Scare Tactics to Deflect From Their Shoddy Care

By Cheryl Sullenger

McAllen, TX – Abortionist Lester Minto is defiant concerning new safety standards passed by the Texas Legislature last week, especially concerning the new standards for dispensing abortion pills. He operates Reproductive Services, an abortion clinic in the Rio Grand Valley community of Harlingen that does 1,500-2,000 abortion per year, according to a New York Times story published on July 13, 2013.

If forced to comply with the new law, Minto says he is willing to seek other means of continuing to provide abortions, even if his substandard clinic must close.

Minto, who called the Texas abortion law “an insult to women’s intelligence,” said he would keep doing abortions “whether that means under the cover of a mesquite tree or on a shrimp boat or going to Mexico” where abortions are also illegal.

“I didn’t say I’d stop doing abortions. I’m not going to give this up…And I’m not going to abandon girls,” Minto told a local newspaper.

“Minto’s comments show his complete disregard for the health and lives of women and his insistence on subjecting women to substandard practices as if she did not deserve anything better,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Being treated by abortionists as something less than a human being is the real insult to the intelligence of women.”

The New York Times and other mainstream news outlets are raising concerns that in Texas, if the new law shuts down abortion clinics that cannot comply with new safety regulations, women would make the short trip across the border to Mexico where abortion-causing pills are readily available over the counter as many women already have been doing for years.

Usually medical abortions are done using a cocktail of mifepristone (RU486) and misoprostol (Cytotec). The patient takes one dose drugs at the abortion clinic then the rest at home, where she has the abortion. There is no monitoring done on the woman, who is not at the clinic during the painful abortion process that resembles a miscarriage.

However, even some abortion clinics often just use Cytotec to simulate uterine contractions and cause an abortion in early pregnancy. Cytotec is a drug originally developed to treat stomach ulcers which has been used off-label by abortionists for years despite manufacturer warnings because it is cheap, if not particularly safe. It is known to cause unpredictable and sometimes violent contractions. In fact, Hispanic have become so familiar with over-the-counter use of Cytotec that they refer to it as “Star Pills” due to the tablets’ multi-sided shape.

Minto further reflected an attitude that women don’t deserve high medical standards when he insensitively told ABC News, “It’s kind of like a cheap cure for a radiator leak. Its efficacy rate is about 30 percent when used alone and improperly. But even though I don’t approve of it, I can’t criticize it. I would probably try the same if I were in a situation like these women.”

Minto may be the newest darling of the pro-abortion media, but his record is not clean. In 1996, Minto was disciplined for allowing staff to practice without adequate supervision including “allowing a physician’s assistant to utilize pre-signed prescription and to telephone in prescriptions for patients without consulting with [Minto].” This is a practice that helped land Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell and several of his associates who masqueraded as “doctors” in trouble with the law.

Amy Hagstrom-Miller, who operates another Rio Grand Valley abortion clinic in McAllen, Texas, known as Whole Women’s Health, is also opposed to the new abortion pill standards and has opines that women will seek to obtain abortion pills in Mexico or at flea markets if her clinic is forced to close.

While abortionist worry about the “unmonitored” use of abortion drugs should abortion clinics that cannot meet the minimum safety requirements be forced to close, that concern seems shallow considering the current way abortion pills are dispensed.

Women who currently obtain abortion pills from abortion clinics must self-administer the drugs and endure often long and painful the abortion process outside the clinics without supervision. This practice has led to major medical complications and even death.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood issued a study that admitted to 385 “serious” abortion pill complications, including at least one abortion pill-related death from 2009-2010. That is more than one serious complication per day. The actual number is likely higher due to the fact that many women do not report complications to the abortion clinics but seek emergency care on their own.

“Trying to pretend that women are ‘monitored’ by abortion clinics after they dispense abortion-causing drugs is the height of hypocrisy since it is the monitoring provisions in the new Texas law that they most vehemently opposed,” said Newman. “Right now abortion clinics hand out the drugs and send women out the door. Often, they never see the women again.”

In fact, Hagstrom Miller admits that her McAllen abortion clinic now uses abortionists that fly in from other states, making supervision and follow-up by a licensed physician nearly impossible.

Newman continued, “If women self-administer abortion pills purchased in Mexico, as the fear-mongers predict, they really wouldn’t be getting much worse treatment than they are currently getting at Texas abortion clinics. Both options are completely undesirable.”

The new Texas law requires abortion clinics to follow FDA protocols, which mandates that women return to the abortion clinic for the second dose of abortion drugs. It also restricts the use of abortion pills to pregnancies that are under 7 weeks. Currently, abortion clinics dispense the drugs through the ninth week of pregnancy – or later in some cases.

In some clinics, abortion pills are given out by unlicensed clinic workers to women who have never seen a doctor. This was the practice at Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “House of Horrors” according to court testimony.

But Hagstrom-Miller’s Whole Women’s Heath in McAllen shares more similarities to Gosnell’s horrific practices, even down to the macabre displaying of a Georgia O’Keefe print to apparently soothe women at their respective clinics.

The McAllen Whole Women’s Health office was fined $13,475 in 2011 after an inspection found the clinic was improperly disposing of aborted baby remains into an open and overflowing dumpster behind the run-down facility. The inspection confirmed allegations in a complaint filed by Operation Rescue in response to discoveries made during an undercover investigation of Texas abortion clinics.

“Abortion clinics and abortionists who do not want to bring their shoddy clinics up to minimum standards that other ambulatory surgical center must meet, then it is only right for them to close, because women deserve better than to subjected to substandard practices that endanger their lives and health. Scare tactics currently employed by abortionists only serve to divert attention from their own unsafe habits,” said Newman. “We know for a fact that women abortion clinics close, the vast majority of women seek other means of dealing with life’s challenges than aborting their babies, and that means lives are spared and women are kept safe from shoddy practices that aren’t much better than the back alley.”

Thousands of Pro-life Supporters Rallying at Texas Capital Had Sense of History in the Making

By Cheryl Sullenger

Austin, TX — Thousands of pro-life supporters jammed together in front of the Texas Capitol Building on this hot, muggy evening to hear notable speakers such as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and Fox News personality former Gov. Mike Huckabee speak in support of a Texas abortion law that was thwarted by an angry pro-abortion mob two weeks ago.

The rally had a street-fair quality, with a sea of blue-shirted pro-lifers cheering and chanting, ”Pass the bill” while abortion supporters sporting orange clothing occasionally recited mantras such as, “Separate Church and State.” The pro-abortion chants were generally ignored and drowned out by the enthusiastic throng, which took every opportunity punctuate the speakers’ messages with hoots and cheers.

There was a palpable sense of history in the making.

As the pro-life rally progressed, abortion supporters congregated on the street in front of the Capitol chanting and cheering honking cars as they whizzed by under, all under the watchful eyes of at least 15 motorcycle officers who lined an section of the street nearby.

Security was high and there were no noticeable incidents, at least as far as this correspondent could see.
It is sometimes difficult to measure a crowd of that size, but estimates were between 3,000 to 5,000 pro-life supporters rallied outside the Capitol with hundreds more inside wandering the halls of the Capitol. Others jammed into several over-flow rooms to watch closed-circuit broadcasts of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee as they patiently endured a marathon of speakers who had signed up to speak both for and against SB1, the Senate companion bill to the House version known as HB2.

These bills would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation and provide additional regulations, such as the requirement that abortionists must have local hospital privileges. If successful, it would close all but 5 out of 42 abortion clinics in Texas.

The Senate hearing is expected to last all night.

“We’ll stay here the rest of the week, if necessary, to hear witnesses,” said Republican Sen. Jane Nelson.
The testimony will continue round the clock until the last witness is heard. Literally thousands more registered their support or opposition to the bill by submitting a form in person outside the hearing room.

Sen. Nelson indicated that there would be no vote immediately following the hearing, signaling that the Senate may be content to move forward at a slower pace than the House, which heard eight hours of testimony last week and has scheduled a vote in the full House on Tuesday.

This is the second special legislative session called by Gov. Rick Perry to ensure passage of the pro-life law. Texas has a part -time legislature that meets only once every two years. Adding to the urgency of passing the abortion restrictions this year were recent allegations of three former abortion clinic employees that Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen routinely kills late-term babies born alive during abortions using practices similar to those of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. Operation Rescue released photographic evidence depicting two late-term babies that seems to support the women’s claims.

Operation Rescue will be Tweeting live from the Capitol Tuesday. Please join us in tweeting support for the Texas pro-life legislation by using the hashtag #Stand4Life. Follow us at https://twitter.com/operationrescue.