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Pomona Valley Hospital accused of conducting secret experiment on patients

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is seen in this file photo.
July 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is accused of conducting secret research on as many as 17 patients during back surgeries.

A lawsuit against the hospital and two medical device manufacturers claims Pomona Valley allowed surgeons to implant patients with a putty designed to generate bone growth. According to evidence from an L.A. law firm, the alleged experiments were conducted between 2006 and 2011, with the majority occurring after 2009.

An attorney representing 35-year-old April Cabana of Alta Loma said she was enrolled in the experimental research at Pomona Hospital without her consent in September 2008. The lawsuit contends the putty promoted excessive and unwanted bone growth onto her nerve channels, compressing the nerves.

A second operation to remove the growth was unsuccessful. Cabana has reportedly not recovered from the surgeries and is now permanently disabled.

In a statement, the hospital denied the allegations:

"We believe the allegations are unfounded. In addition to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, PVHMC complies with all state and federal laws and has procedures in place to oversee studies conducted at the hospital."

The statement also added the hospital takes the accusations seriously and is "committed to excellence in safety and patient care."

The hospital has also appealed a trial court's order to produce information on the alleged secret research. A hearing is set for Sept. 11 in Downtown L.A.

In 2009, Pomona Valley Hospital was listed among the top five hospitals in L.A. County by Consumer Reports.


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