Scott Sessions, M.D., Placed on Probation
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
In 2017, the Medical Board of California and Scott Sessions, M.D. entered a stipulated settlement under which Sessions agreed three years of probation, during which he must (a) complete at least 40 hours of continuing education courses "aimed at correcting any areas of defiencient practice or knowledge in the prescribing or dosing of anesthesia," (b) complete a substantial course in medical record-keeping, (c) submit to monitoring of his practice, and (d) refrain from performing any form of sedation at a non-accredited surgery center. The accusatiion (shown below) charged him with gross negligence in treating two patients. One patient had seizures, went into cardiac arrest, and required hospitalization as a result of excessive administration of Lidocaine (local anesthetic). The other patient required hospitalzation due to complications of a neck lift procedure. An investigative reporter subsequently raised concerns about Sessions's affiliation with a stem cell clinic.
Attorney General of California
MATTHEW M. DAVIS
Supervising Deputy Attorney General
Harinder K. Kapor
Deputy Attorney General
State Bar No. 198765
600 West Broadway, Suite 1800
San Diego, CA 92101
P.O. Box 85266
San Diego, CA 92186-5266
Telephone: (619) 738-9401
Facsimile: (619) 645-2061
Attorneys for Complainant
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
In the Matter of the Accusation Against:
SCOTT CLARK SESSIONS, M.D.
Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate
Case No. 8002014004336;
FIRST AMENDED ACCUSATION
FILED: May 20, 2016
1. Kimberly Kirchmeyer (Complainant) brings this First Amended Accusation solely in her official capacity as the Executive Director of the Medical Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs (Board).
2. On or about June 5. 1998. the Medical Board issued Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate Number G84594 to Scott Clark Sessions, M.D. (respondent). The Physician 'sand Surgeon's Certificate was in foll force and effect at all times relevant to the charges and allegations brought herein and will expire on November 30, 2017. unless renewed.
3. This First Amended Accusation is brought before the Medical Board of California (Board). Department of Consumer Affairs, under the authority of the following laws. All section references arc to the Business and Professions Code (Code) unless otherwise indicated.
4. Section 2227 of the Code states:
"(a) A licensee whose matter has been heard by an administrative law judge of the Medical Quality Hearing Panel as designated in Section 11371 of the Government Code. or whose default has been entered, and who is found guilty, or who has entered into a stipulation for disciplinary action with the board. may, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:
"(l) Have his or her license revoked upon order of the board
"(2) Have his or her right to practice suspended for a period not to exceed one year upon order of the board.
"(3) Be placed on probation and be required to pay the costs of probation monitoring upon order of the board.
"(4) Be publicly reprimanded by the board. The public reprimand may include a requirement that the licensee complete relevant educational courses approved by the board.
"(5) Have any other action taken in relation to discipline as part of an order of probation, as the board or an administrative law judge may deem proper.
"(b) Any matter heard pursuant to subdivision (a), except for warning letters. medical review or advisory conferences. professional competency examinations. continuing education activities, and cost reimbursement associated therewith that arc agreed to with the board and successfully completed by the licensee, or other matters made confidential or privileged by existing law, 1s deemed public. and shall be made available to the public by the board pursuant to Section 803.1."
5. Section 2234 of the Code states:
"The board shall take action against any licensee who is charged with unprofessional conduct. In addition to other provisions of this article, unprofessional conduct includes. bu tis. not limited lo. the following:
"(a) Violating or attempting to violate. directly or indirectly. assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate any provision of this chapter. '"(b) Gross negligence.
"(c) Repeated negligent acts. To be repeated, there must be two or more negligent acts or omissions. An initial negligent act or omission followed by a separate and distinct departure from the applicable standard of care shall constitute repeated negligent acts.
"(I) An initial negligent diagnosis followed by an act or omission medically appropriate for that negligent diagnosis of the patient shall constitute a single negligent act.
"'(2) When the standard of care requires a change 1n the diagnosis. act, or omission that constitutes the negligent act described in paragraph (I), including, but not limited to, a reevaluation of the diagnosis or a change in treatment. and the licensee's conduct departs from the applicable standard of care, each departure constitutes a separate and distinct breach of the standard of care.
6. Unprofessional conduct under Code section 2234 is conduct which breaches the rules of ethical code of the medical profession, or conduct which is unbecoming to a member in good standing of the medical profession, and which demonstrates an unfitness to practice medicine. Shea v. Board of Medical Examiners (1978) 81 Cal.App.3d 564. 575.)
7. Section 2266 of the Code states:
"The failure of a physician and surgeon to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to the provision of services to their patients constitutes unprofessional conduct."
FIRST CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
( Gross Negligence)
8 Respondent is subject to disciplinary action under sections 2227 and 2234. as defined by section 2234, subdivision (b), of the Code, in that he committed gross negligence 111 his care and treatment of patients C.P. and G.F., as more particularly alleged hereinafter:
9. On or about June 20.2011. patient C.P .. a then fifty-two (52) year old female, went to the Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre to undergo a bilateral upper and lower lid blepharoplasty1 and a face and neck lilt. The operation was performed by respondent. Patient C.P. was placed under conscious sedation which involved the administration of local infiltration anesthetic for her face and upper eyelid procedures. On her pre-anesthesia evaluation form, patient C.P. indicated she had had problems with anesthesia. Specifically. patient C.P. suffered nausea and vomiting after undergoing a surgery under general anesthesia. Respondent did not review patient C.P.'s preanesthesia evaluation form prior to administering anesthesia on or about June 20, 2011.
10.. On or about June 20.2011, at approximately 8:00 a.m., patient C.P. was brought into the operating room. Respondent administered 50 mcg of Fentanyl and 5 mg of Versed to patient C.P. at about 8:05 a.m., and then he began injecting local anesthesia. first into patient C.P.'s eyelids and then into the subcutaneous tissues of her face and neck. Respondent documented he injected 24 cc of 2% Lidocaine with 1:100,000 Epinephrine into the eyelids, and then 50 cc of I/4% Lidocaine with I :400,000 Epinephrine into her face. Respondent's LVN, C.J., took patient C.P.'s; vitals at 8:00 a.m., 8:10 a.m., and 8:20 a.m.. After respondent completed giving the injections to patient C.P., she began to exhibit signs of seizures. Respondent was outside the operating room when patient C P. began having the seizures. When respondent was called back into the operating room, patient C.P. 's whole body was shaking, Respondent placed an oxygen mask on patient C.P. and administered another 5 mg of Versed intravenously to patient C.P. Patient C.P.'·s seizures appeared to subside.
1Blcpharoplasty is surgical repair or reconstruction of an eyelid.
11. Approximately ten minutes later. patient C.P. had another episode of seizures. Respondent ordered the nurse lo give patient C.P. 4 mg of IV Atropine and Epinephrine. This stabilized the patient for a short time. but patient C.P.'s heart rate and blood pressure started to drop and respondent could not keep C.P. 's oxygen saturation at an acceptable level. Patient C.P. developed bradycardia and hypotension. After the second series of seizures, scrub technician R.M. stepped outside to call 911 because respondent could not stabilize patient C.P. Patient C.P. went into cardiac arrest and her breathing stopped. Respondent then performed chest compressions on patient C.P.
12. Throughout the emergency at the Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre. respondent failed to properly document the times when drugs were administered. how oxygen was being delivered to patient C.P., and patient C.P. 's vital signs during the seizures and cardiac arrest.
13. When paramedics arrived, they initiated life saving emergency treatment on patient C.P. This included intubating patient C.P. and the placement of resuscitation pads on patient C.P. Patient C.P. was then transferred to Grossmont Hospital by ambulance.
14. Once at the hospital, patient C.P. was taken into the trauma area or the emergency room to be stabilized. After she was stabilized, patient C.P. was placed into a medically induced coma in order to reduce the injury to her brain.
15. On or about June 22, 2011, patient C.P. was extubated and brought out of the medically induced coma. Thereafter, and for approximately one month, patient C.P. had difficulty maintaining equilibrium. Patient C.P. also complained of short term memory problems. Patient C.P. had her driver's license suspended for a month because of her seizures, and she was off work for six weeks.
16. On or about January 22, 2015, respondent was interviewed during the Board's investigation of this case and, during that interview. he acknowledged that patient C.P.'s seizures were caused by the administration of "too much" Lidocaine. The maximum safe dosage of Lidocaine with Epinephrine for patient C.P. who weighed 54 kg at the time of her surgery. would have been 375 mg of Lidocaine. According to respondent's own recollection. he administered 432 mg of Lidocaine, which was far above the maximum safe dosage for patient C.P.
17. Respondent committed gross negligence in his care and treatment of patient C.P. which included, but was not limited to, the following:
(a) Respondent administered an overdose or Lidocaine to patient C.P.
18. On or about April 9, 2013, patient G.F., a then seventy-three (73) year old female. consulted with respondent regarding multiple concerns regarding her abdomen, breasts, face and knees Patient G.F. reported using an inhaler, as needed, for asthma. Respondent recommended patient G.F. undergo a full neck lift, adding fat to the face, abdominoplasty2 inferior pedicle masropcxy3 with saline implants, fillers to the face, and liposuction4 to the flanks and her upper back. Respondent recommended that patient G.F. undergo two separate procedures.
19. On or about April 16, 2013, patient G.F. underwent autologous fat transfer to the checks. According to the "time-out" protocol, patient G.F. was to receive Juvcderm.5 Patient G.F. consented for ''FAT TRANSFER/FACE AND ICC JUVEDERM." According to the operative report, Versed and fcntanyl were administered to patient G.F., however there 1s no mention of Juvederm. Respondent did not document a history or physical tor patient C.F., on this date.
20. On or about May 15, 2013, patient G.F. underwent a pre-operative physical examination with respondent. Patient G.F. reported having high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis/rheumatism. Respondent documented examining patient G.F. 's face, breasts, abdomen and extremities. Patient G.F. was noted to be "healthy." Hemoglobin was noted to be 12.8. An electrocardiogram (ECG),6 also dated May 15. 2013, reported an incomplete right bundle-branch block; but otherwise normal ECG. Respondent did not preoperatively perform a heart or lung exam on patient G.F.
2Abdominoplasty1 or "tummy tuck" is a cosmetic procedure that flattens the abdomen by removing extra fat and skin and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall.
3A mastopcxy is the procedure for raising sagging breasts.
4Liposuction (lipoplasty, liposculpture suction lipectomy or simply lipo) is a cosmetic procedure that removes fat from many different sites on the human body.
5Juvaderm is a smooth injectable gel used to restore the skin's volume and smooth away facial wrinkles and folds.
6An electrocardiogram is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart.
21. On or about May 21, 2013, patient G.F. underwent a neck lift with plication of the platysma muscle, abdominoplasty with liposuction to the flanks, submuscular augmentation mammoplasty using saline implants with inferior pedicle mastopexy, and suction assisted lipectomy of the medial knees. The procedure was performed at a certified surgery center where respondent was the Medical Director. Prior to the procedure, patient G.F. was interviewed and examined by J.K., M.D., an anesthesiologist, who okayed her for the proposed anesthetic and the proposed surgery. J.K., M.D. noted that patient G.F. was an ASA Class II,7 on the same page that patient G.F. had previously noted that she had high blood pressure, asthma, and arthritis/rheumatism. J.K., M.D., did not document a heart or lung examination of patient G.F. Following the procedure, patient G.F. was discharged home.
7American Society of Anesthesiology Classification indicating that the patient had mild systemic disease with no functional limitations.
22. On or about May 23, 20 I 3, patient G. F. became swollen, weak and short of breath. Patient G.F. was admitted into the hospital and had a prolonged hospital course that included multiple wounds from tissue breakdown at the operative sites, sepsis, respiratory failure, renal failure, congestive heart failure, metabolic encephalopathy, and pleural effusion. Patient G.F. was discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, where she remained for six months.
23. Respondent committed gross negligence in his care and treatment of patient G.F. which included, but was not limited to, the following:
(a) Respondent failed to perform a heart and lung exam of patient G.F. before performing major surgery on patient G.F. on or about May 21, 2013.
SECOND CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Repeated Negligent Acts)
24. Respondent is further subject to disciplinary action under sections 2227 and 2234, as defined by section 2234, subdivision (c), of the Code, in that he committed repeated negligent acts in his care and treatment of patients C.P. and G.F., as more particularly alleged hereinafter:
25. Paragraphs 8 through 17, above, are hereby incorporated by reference and re-alleged as if fully set forth herein.
26. Respondent committed repeated negligent acts in his care and treatment of patient C.P. which included, but was not limited to, the following:
(a) Respondent administered an overdose of Lidocaine to patient C.P.; and
(b) Respondent failed to call 91 I immediately after patient C.P.'s first episode of seizures.
27. Paragraphs 8 and 18 to 23, above, are hereby incorporated by reference and re-alleged as if fully set forth herein.
28. Respondent committed repeated negligent acts in his care and treatment of patient G.F. which included, but was not limited to, the following:
(a) Respondent failed to obtain a preoperative history and physical of patient G.F. for the April I 6, 20I3 procedure; and,
(b) Respondent failed to ensure that an adequate anesthesia preoperative evaluation of patient G.F. was conducted on or about May 21, 2013.
THIRD CAUSE FOR DISCIPLINE
(Failure to Maintain Adequate and Accurate Records)
29. Respondent is further subject to disciplinary action under sections 2227 and 2234, as defined by section 2266, of the Code, in that he failed to maintain adequate and accurate records relating to his care and treatment of patient C.P., as more particularly alleged hereinafter.
30. Paragraphs 8 through 17 and 24 through 26 above. are hereby incorporated by reference and re-alleged as if fully set forth herein.
WHEREFORE. complainant requests that a hearing be held on the matters herein alleged. and that following the hearing. the Medical Board issue a decision:
1. Revoking or suspending Physicians and Surgeon's Certificate Number G84594. issued to respondent Scott Clark Sessions. M.D.:
2. Revoking. suspending or denying approval or respondent Scott Clark Sessions. M.D.'s authority to supervise physician assistants. pursuant to section 3527 of the Code:
3. Ordering respondent Scott Clark Sessions. M.D ., if' placed on probation, to pay the Board the costs of probation monitoring: and
4. Taking such other and further action as deemed necessary and proper.
Medical Board of California
Department of Consumer Affairs
Stale of California
This article was posted on April 10, 2019.