Texas Abortion Chain Running Filthy Clinics: Rusty Blood Stains on Suction Machines

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 28, 2013   |   2:06PM   |   Austin, TX

A new report on a chain of abortion clinics in Texas shows that they have been running filthy abortion clinics that would give Kermit Gosnell a run for his money.

The “suction machines which were being used on patients” had “numerous rusty spots” which had “the likelihood to cause infection.” That’s just one of the shocking updates from a state department report.

The Texas Legislature passed HB 2 last summer to significantly strengthen safety standards for abortion facilities because the current standards are inadequate. As Texas awaits the ruling on Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, the legal challenge to HB 2 brought by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, questions have arisen about whether abortion facilities in Texas are meeting safety standards currently in law.

Today, to buttress arguments in support of the need for the law, Texas Alliance for Life released a review of recent inspection records it obtained through public information that it says shows many abortion facilities are not meeting even current safety standards and are endangering women’s health and safety.
Texas Alliance for Life cited Whole Woman’s Health, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Texas law which also operates five licensed abortion facilities in Texas (Austin, Beaumont, Forth Worth, McAllen, and San Antonio). In a recent Texas Tribune published article September 15, the CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, Amy Hagstrom Miller, described HB 2 this way: “The point of this legislation was to make abortion inaccessible. It wasn’t about safety . . . there is no safety problem around abortion in Texas.”

“Contrary to her claim, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), which regulates abortion facilities, has cited four of the five Whole Woman’s Health facilities for violating current safety laws during the last three years, some dozens of times. Many the violations threaten the health and safety of the patients, including lack of sterilization of abortion instruments, lack of an R.N. or L.V.N. on staff, rusty suction machines, and expired and unlabelled medications, ” Texas Alliance for Life said today. “In most cases, the violations have been acknowledged by the administrator of the corresponding abortion facility indicating that Whole Woman’s Health is fully aware that they are operating abortion facilities in violation of the law.”

Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, emailed LifeNews about the DSHS information.

“Whole Woman’s Health and Planned Parenthood want the public to believe that abortion facilities are safe for women. A rusty suction machine, faulty sterilizing fluid, a faulty sterilization machine, holes in the floor exposing the facility to rodents, expired and unlabeled medication, and absent or poorly trained nursing staff contradict the abortion industry’s rhetoric,” he said. “No woman should be exposed to such horrendous conditions. Women deserve better.”



Texas Alliance for Life provided a list below of some of the violations of current law cited by DSHS’ inspectors in their reports. (DSHS has redacted information from the reports that identifies staff or patients.) Some violations appears repeatedly over three years of inspections. The most recent inspection was on October 3, 2013, weeks after Hagstrom Miller’s statement.

Whole Woman’s Health of Beaumont, 440 18th Street, Ste A, Beaumont, TX 77703

November 17, 2011

  • “Based on demonstration and interview the facility failed to ensure the staff was trained in sterilization process of surgical instruments.”
  • “Staff #2 did not know what a sterilization indicator was or what it is used for in the sterilization process.”
  • “An interview with the Administrator . . . confirmed there were not sterilization indicators in the facility.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to staff the clinic with a registered nurse(s) or a licensed vocational nurse(s).”
  • “[T]he facility administration failed to ensure staff received training, education, and orientation to their specific job description.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to provide a safe and sanitary environment.”
  • “[T]here was a drain in the middle of the room, but the cover was loose and caused a hole to be in the floor right in front of the patient’s bed.”
  • “[I]n procedure room #2 there was numerous rusty spots on the on the suction machine used on the patient” for an abortion.
  • “[T]he evacuation plan of the building was not posted for the safety of patients and employees.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to provide safe equipment in the patient’s procedure room.”
  • “[T]he facility’s staff failed to monitor the expiration dates on sterile supplies.”
  • “Based on observation and interview the facility failed to maintain the sterility of the surgical instruments.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to ensure staff was trained in CPR . . .”
  • “[T]he facility failed to have current emergency medication in the emergency crash cart and follow the facility’s policy.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to provide emergency airway equipment. This facility provides moderate sedation/analgesia which requires advanced airway management equipment.”
  • “During the tour of the facility on 11/15/2011 at 3:00 PM observed the three facility’s fire extinguishers were last inspection on March of 2010.”

December 19, 2012

  • “Based on demonstration and interview the facility failed to ensure the staff was trained in sterilization process of surgical instruments.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to staff the clinic with a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) that meets the experience requirements according to the facility job description for a licensed vocational nurse (LVN).”
  • “[F]acility staff members (#2, #4, #6, and #7) failed to perform the correct procedure for the sterilization of the surgical instruments.”
  • “[F]acility failed to maintain the sterility of the surgical instruments before coming into contact with the sterile field.”
  • “Interview with the Sterilizer Representative on 12/19/2012 at 10:00 AM at the facility revealed the sterilizer had a gasket leak and the door on the autoclave was not opening properly. Questioned when the safety checks were completed why were these problems not identified? He stated ‘that during the safety check only electrical safety is checked and not the functional checks of the equipment. The functional check is more expensive and the facilities do not want to pay for the functional check.’ “
  • “The patient had increased bleeding problem after the abortion procedure had been completed. The patient was transferred by private car to the local hospital. Also a review of the record titled “Complication Log” for the past year of 2012 revealed no documentation of a patient having a bleeding complication after an abortion procedure.”
  • “The facility failed to follow their own Emergency Medical Protocol for a patient transfer to the hospital.”

October 3, 2013

  • “[T]he facility failed to provide a safe environment for patients and staff.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to provide safe and sanitary equipment in the patients’ procedure rooms.”
  • The “suction machines which were being used on patients” had “numerous rusty spots” which had “the likelihood to cause infection.”
  • “[O]bservation in the pathology room under the sink revealed a large hole in the cabinet flooring. The hole was approximately 6 inches in diameter and the wood was splintered around the edges. The facility was storing sterilization solutions for cleaning instruments around the hole in the floor. The hole in the flooring had the likelihood to allow rodents to enter the facility and the splintered wood edges could puncture the sterilization solutions.”
  • “Pre-filled medication cups with approximately 2-4 pills in each cup. The medication cups were not labeled with the patient’s name, name of the medication, nor the strength of the medication. Also, observed were medication cups that had turned over and pills had fallen out of the medication cups. Surveyor questioned staff #9 how they would know which cup the medication belongs in. Staff #9 stated, ‘by the size of the pill.’ This medication practice had the likelihood to cause an error in the patients receiving a wrong dose of medication being giving to the patient and an infection to the patient.”
  • “The patient’s gestation did not fall within the parameter of the providing physician at this facility.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to file the post abortion complication call back forms in the patients record.”
  • “The facility failed to have a policy or procedure for patients being assessed at the facility who had the likelihood of developing health problems that had been discovered during their visit.”
  • “[P]atient #10 and #13 had no documentation that the heath issues found during the patient’s visit to the facility had been followed up with by a staff member or the physician.”
  • “[T]he facility failed to have the electrocardiograph monitoring equipment ready if an emergency situation occurred in the facility.”
  • “The cables to the defibrillator were not connected. The Administrator was observed trying to replace the recording paper in the defibrillator, but was unable to feed the paper correctly into the machine. In an emergency situation this has the likelihood to cause harm to the patient.”
  • “[T]he facility’s Quality Assurance Committee failed . . . to ensure outdated medication were not available for patient use.”
  • “Based on record review and interview, the licensed vocation nurse at the facility failed to legibly write her name and credentials on 12 of 29 records reviewed.”

Whole Woman’s Health of Fort Worth, LLC, 1717 S Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76110

March 15, 2011

  • “The facility had not ensured a safe environment, equipped to protect the health and safety of their clients, in that, they had expired equipment in an operating room. and expired medications in the Medication Area, where these items had been available for client use” The Clinical Director verified that the equipment was expired and “had been available for client use.”
  • “They had not labeled unidentified liquid used in 2 of 2 operating rooms.”
  • “2 of 3 areas where sterile supplies were stored contained packages of tenaculums that had been sterilized in the ‘closed’ position.”
  • “The facility had not ensured all staff providing direct patient care were currently certified in basic life support.”
  • “The Clinical Director did not have a current CPR” certification.”
  • Several medications were “not properly stored” and found: “sitting out on the counter top,” “unlocked cabinets,” “unlocked refrigerator,” and “unlocked safe.”
  • “Personnel at facility were not following proper sterilization procedures” by not correctly labeling sterilized tools.

Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen LP, 802 S Main St, McAllen, TX 78501

September 25, 2012

  • “No evidence of compliance was provided where noncompliance was identified.”

September 4, 2013

  • “No evidence of compliance was provided where noncompliance was identified.”
  • “[T]wo out of seven staff members had expired cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification.”
  • “[P]ersonnel at facility were not following proper sterilization procedures.”

Whole Woman’s Health of San Antonio, 4025 E Southcross Blvd Bldg 5 Ste 30, San Antonio, TX 78222

August 29, 2013

  • “No evidence of compliance was provided where noncompliance was identified.”
  • “Based on observations, review of staff training records, and staff interviews Whole Woman’s Health of San Antonio failed to implement and enforce acceptable environmental controls in cleaning and preparing instruments for sterilization.”
  • “During an inspection of sterile processing area with the clinic administrator at 11:45 a.m. on 8/23/13 staff member # 4 demonstrated the process for receiving, decontaminating, and processing surgical instruments. The demonstration revealed several functions performed in the small room were not distinctly separated and prevented the sequence of moving items from soiled to clean without cross contamination.”
  • ” . . . no evidence of staff training for environmental requirements.”
  • “[T]he administrator and the director of operations following their own review of the findings revealed they could not provide evidence of compliance with the (sterilization) requirement.”
  • “. . . Whole Woman’s Health failed to follow manufacturer’s instructions for the effective use of disinfectants to decontaminate or reduce the bio-burden in cleaning instruments prior to sterilization.”
  • “Upon testing the strength of the cidex the test strip revealed it failed and ineffective for use.”