Lawton_Health officials threatened to shut down a Lawton dialysis facility. Both Federal Medicare and State Health Department officials say patients' lives are at risk if they continue to go to American Dialysis. Investigators cited a number of problems at the facility on Gore Boulevard. Just to name a few: the facility was dirty, there were no registered nurses or medical directors, and that certain water quality tests that are supposed to be done nearly everyday have not been done since March 2008.
American Dialysis voluntarily closed their doors Tuesday when the threat came from the Feds. Medicare officials tell 7NEWS the doors won't open back up either. State and federal investigators described American Dialysis as a place where patients were in jeopardy all at the hands of Dr. Freedom Ikedionwu. "27 patients being treated at this facility but finding a number of harmful or damaging operational concerns that led to request for immediate closure of the facility," said Federal Medicare Spokesman Tony Salters.
"The physical environment was unsafe with the amount of standing water and debris that was found in the water treatment rooms, and a number of rat and rodent debris that was found in the facility," said Salters.
Officials said much of the medical equipment is out of compliance and many chemicals are expired. 7NEWS spoke to one man about his experience there. He said just how filthy the place was when he brought his brothers in for treatment. "The place smelled, the place was bad, it was very unprofessional. They didn't even have nurses in there. My brother used to bring his own antiseptic stuff and wipe down his seat."
Now, American Dialysis is closed and he said his brother goes somewhere else that's much cleaner. Medicare and state officials said he can rest assured that the facility will not open back up. "Because of the violations and the citations the deficiencies found on site and their voluntary withdrawal from the program will not allow them to reenter the Medicare program," said Salters.
Salters said the vast majority of dialysis patients are using Medicare and that is why this doctor won't be able to open another dialysis facility. 7NEWS tried to get in touch with Dr. Ikedionwu Wednesday, but the staff hung up on the call 3 times.