Hey, Sorry About That Hole I Put In Your Colon...Want a Painkiller?


  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967/ / CC BY 2.0
Imagine that a doctor inserts a thin tube into your intestines to poke around (a.k.a., a colonoscopy), then proceeds to...fall asleep.

This actually happened at Des Peres Hospital in 2003, and not because the physician was bored. Dr. Michael Impey was addicted to painkillers at the time. A few years later -- evidently still addicted -- he put a hole in a patient's colon during a procedure, requiring other surgeons to have to remove part of it (the colon). 

The patient -- John W. Campbell -- has sued Impey for damages. The jury trial is now beginning in St. Louis County.

What's at issue, apparently, is whether Impey's addiction to painkillers impaired his ability to perform the procedure, or was simply a private-life problem.

The Post-Dispatch had the story this morning; click here


Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.