TTUHSC Doctor Suspended After Admission of Drug Use - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/27/05

TTUHSC Doctor Suspended After Admission of Drug Use

A Lubbock doctor has his license suspended after he is caught doing drugs while treating patients, but it wasn't a one-time incident. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel learned that Anesthesiologist James Stephen Jones had been suspended a week earlier for the same offense, but in that case a patient was involved.

Ofelia Davis, a local patient says, "You think you're coming to see someone to protect you, but I guess you should be afraid." That is Davis' reaction after learning a resident at Texas Tech Health Science Center was seeing patients while under the influence. She says doctors are supposed to be trusted. "You don't know if you're gonna get killed or not because of somebody that's doing something that they shouldn't be doing."

NewsChannel 11 obtained the order of temporary suspension for Doctor James Jones. The document describes how co-workers at Lamb Healthcare Center in Littlefield determined Jones was under the influence while on the clock.

"Dr. Jones was relieved of duty at the Lamb Healthcare Center when he was found with needle track marks in his arms, dilated pupils and slurred speech."

Jones was taken off duty, and admitted into the ER. Littlefield police were called out and ran a search on Jones' car. They found a large quantity of injectable drugs inside.

Records at LHC Pharmacy also showed that Jones was obtaining large quantities of Fentanyl, a drug similar to heroine, and 80 times more potent that morphine.

Lamb Healthcare Center did not want to comment on camera but they did tell us no patients were compromised because the staff handled the situation, but that wasn't the case just six days before this incident.

TTHSC was where the first incident happened with Dr. Jones. As soon as they found out he mis-perscribed medication for a patient, he was suspended. They did not want to comment on the case because they said it was still under review.

Jones was also suspended for the same type of activity while doing his residency at Texas Tech Health Science Center. The medical board's report says, "Respondent was given a medical leave of absence/suspension from Texas Tech Health Science Center for substance abuse on September 13th, 2005. The reason...was due to suspected impairment and refusal to submit to drug testing."

While at TTHSC, Jones was also sited in the report as having an issue with a patient. “At TTHSC, respondent administered the para-lytic to a patient after he became angry that the attending physician ordered respondent to waste a dose of su-fen-tan-yl. The patient required a ventilator for several hours due to administration of the para-lytic."

The medical board has suspended Jones' license, and they have put him on a temporary suspension indefinitely, until further action is taken.

In the report, it states James Jones admitted to his addiction, stealing medication, and making false waste reports.

Jones is currently in treatment.

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