Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by WinniethePoohA, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. WinniethePoohA

    WinniethePoohA New Member

    Hello All,
    Does anyone know of a CFIDS doctor in Orange County/Newport Beach, CA? I need someone who'll do gamma globulin injections & prescribe other meds after extnsive blood tests.
    Thanks much,
  2. winsomme

    winsomme New Member

    well there is a Dr John Chia in Torrance, CA. i don't know if he uses IVIG or not, but he does believe that there is an infectious cause to CFS.

    also there is this center, which i know alomost nothing about. i think i read an article where they were investigating a staffer for substituting Saline for the very expensive IVIG treatments. i don't know if that means they are shut down or not, but here is their website:

    also here is another immunology institute in LA area, but i also know nothing about them or their treaments.

    maybe do a post asking about these two institutes. i'm sure that somebody here knows something about them.

    i'll look up the address for Dr Chia.

  3. winsomme

    winsomme New Member

    Dr John Chia

    23560 Crenshaw Blvd., #101
    Torrance, CA 90505
    (310) 784-5880
  4. WinniethePoohA

    WinniethePoohA New Member

    Dear Bill,
    Thanks for the info. And, I appreciate your time in looking up Dr. Chia.

    Re: The Center for Special Immunology
    The office was highly recommended by a trusted physician of mine. When I visited (on several occasions) it just didn't seem right. While I did turn in many, many pages of personal and health info., I didn't actually keep the appointments due to my discomfort.

    OC Register article below.

    Just be aware. Check everyone out. Get second opinions and question those referring you to any provider. I hope that using a news item is both helpful and permitted here. I've been reading for a while, but have never posted and am just finding out how to use the site.
    Winnie the Pooh A
    +10 years w/ CFIDS & still searching

    Article from Orange County RegisterSaturday, July 8, 2006

    Clinic is accused of diluting drugs
    Immunology center under scrutiny in Fountain Valley.

    The Orange County Register

    The state medical board is investigating a Fountain Valley immunology clinic accused of injecting a patient with saline solution instead of expensive immune-boosting medication, according to court documents and medical records obtained by the Register.

    Staff at the Center for Special Immunology, headed by Dr. Paul Cimoch and nurse Wendy Fasone, diluted or altered the intravenous drugs over the course of seven years, according to expert testimony from a lawsuit filed by patient Denise Hasenstab of Mission Viejo. The clinic reached a settlement Friday with Hasenstab for an undisclosed amount.

    Cimoch and Fasone are under investigation by their licensing and disciplinary agencies - the Medical Board of California and the California Board of Registered Nursing. The boards have not disclosed the focus of the investigations, which were prompted by patients' complaints.

    Cimoch and Fasone declined to speak to a reporter who visited the clinic on the campus of Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center. Calls to Cimoch's attorney were not returned. Court documents filed last year by the attorney say the facts in the lawsuit do not necessarily point to medical negligence or fraud.

    The Center for Special Immunology treats patients with cancer, immune deficiencies, AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients whose bodies don't produce the antibodies needed to fight infections are prescribed intravenous infusions of gamma globulin (replacement antibodies) to boost their immune systems.

    Gamma globulin, which is derived from donated blood, is expensive and prone to shortages. The treatment can cost $20,000 to $80,000 a year, and infusions have been tied to insurance fraud. Former Newport Beach physician George Steven Kooshian was indicted last year by a federal grand jury. He was accused of diluting patients' gamma globulin infusions with saline solution while charging their insurance companies for full doses.

    Hasenstab received infusions at the Center for Special Immunology nearly every two weeks from 1998 to 2004 to treat a genetic gamma globulin deficiency and multiple sclerosis, which had weakened her immune system. Her insurer, BlueCross BlueShield, was billed about $6,000 per infusion. Hasenstab relied on the clinic – which diagnosed her immune deficiency – for her primary care.

    An immunology specialist from UCLA who studied Hasenstab's medical records and blood work testified that she probably did not receive the drug, or received minute amounts, according to the attorney who took the doctor's deposition.

    "The prescribed medication was not given," said Irvine attorney Thomas Rockett. "She was wronged."

    The state medical board has asked for copies of the depositions, Rockett said.

    Hasenstab first suspected she wasn't getting the prescribed treatment when she was hospitalized with a severe stomach virus at Mission Hospital in 2004. Doctors raised doubts about the volume of infusions she was receiving. After she was released, Hasenstab asked for her records from the Center for Special Immunology.

    "That was the beginning of my nightmare," Hasenstab said. "I knew I wasn't getting what they said I was."

    A nurse at the UC Irvine immunology clinic where Hasenstab is now a patient called the records "atrocious."

    "It appeared to me as a nurse that those documents were photocopied and that the (infusion) dose had been radically changed with felt-tip marker over ballpoint pen," said Marian Ioli. "Usually when a nurse changes something on a document they don't write over it. They cross it out, initial it and date it so you're not looking like you're covering up something."

    Ioli said she doubts Hasenstab received the dosage as listed in the records.

    "From my experience with Denise, it would be highly unlikely she could have tolerated the rate of infusion she was supposedly given," Ioli said.

    Since receiving infusions at UCI, Hasenstab said she feels more energetic and healthy.

    The Center for Special Immunology "robbed me of seven years of my life," Hasenstab said. "How could anybody go to bed at night knowing your patient is getting worse and you're giving them water?"

    Dr. Paul Cimoch, 48, founded the Center for Special Immunology in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1987 to treat people with AIDS. Florida health department records show that Cimoch voluntarily surrendered his license there, although the date and reason are unclear. By the early 1990s, he had opened the clinic in Orange County.

    In 1999, Cimoch's clinic became involved in a controversy surrounding former UCI physician Darryl See. The clinic reportedly provided patients' blood samples to See for an unapproved research project on nutritional supplements to treat AIDS. A university inquiry found that signatures on the patient consent forms appeared to be falsified.

    In December of that year, Cimoch filed for bankruptcy through the Center for Special Immunology, claiming assets of less than $50,000.

    By then, Denise Hasenstab had received dozens of infusions at the center.

    "I know as a Christian I need to forgive them," Hasenstab said. "It's the most difficult thing I've had to do in my life."


    Copyright 2006 The Orange County Register | Privacy policy | User agreement
  5. WinniethePoohA

    WinniethePoohA New Member

    Re: Dr. Ferre & Bummer...
    I thought that name was familiar. She's former director of CSI in Fountain Valley. We only spoke by phone, but I was uncomfortable w/ her treatment.

    Do you all find that many places are selling tons of vitamins & supplements, stringing you (and insurance companies along) for treatments that never materialize or are negligible in terms of benefits? Or, is that just here in my zip code & with a decade of searching?


[ advertisement ]