Feds probe brain operations at California hospital

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal report questions whether surgeons at a Northern California hospital are responsible for the death of at least one of three patients who underwent an untested surgical procedure.

The Sacramento Bee (http://tiny.cc/22z5ow) reported Tuesday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services's report also criticized the University of California, Davis hospital for failing to monitor the surgeons. The federal agency can block the hospital from receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The center launched an investigation after the two surgeons introduced bacteria into open head wounds of three patients who died in 2010 and 2011. The doctors said they hoped to trigger an immune system response to help fight cancer. The procedure has not been approved by federal regulators.

One of the surgeons, Dr. J. Paul Muizelaar, is on a leave of absence.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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