The Virginia Health Department has indefinitely suspended the license of a Fairfax clinic owned by discredited abortion doctor Steven Brigham, citing dozens of violations, including dirty equipment, expired drugs, unlicensed medical personnel, and haphazard storage of patient records.
A two-day inspection on April 4 and 5 led to the immediate shutdown, according to the 52-page inspection report.
The facility is part of Brigham's abortion-clinic chain, called American Women's Services and headquartered in Voorhees.
Brigham, 59, has a decades-long history of regulatory sanctions and criminal investigations stemming from substandard care. Most recently, he lost his New Jersey license and was ordered to sell his seven clinics in that state after he was found to be illegally performing dangerous late-term abortions.
Among the lapses described in the Virginia inspection report: sutures were unavailable to treat a patient's cervical injury, so she had to be rushed to an emergency department to stop her prolonged bleeding; a bloodstained gown was hung on the back of a door for reuse; a staff member plunged a blocked toilet, then held a patient's hand during a procedure without changing scrubs; patient records were found spilling out of a box stored in a bathroom.
Brigham's lawyer, Joseph Gorrell, did not respond to a request for comment.
However, administrators of the Fairfax clinic sent two letters to the Health Department requesting "informal" conferences. The second letter, dated Monday and signed by Kirsy Japs, identified as director of operations, said the clinic disputed much of the inspection report, had "corrected many of the deficiencies," and hoped the department would "permit us to resume seeing patients while we correct the rest."
"Despite the 52 pages of deficiencies that we were dismayed to receive, we believe that we are not fundamentally irredeemable health-care providers," Japs wrote.
Virginia's director of licensure and certification, Erik Bodin, said, "The suspension is for an indefinite period of time and may be lifted when the deficiencies have been corrected as verified by an on-site inspection."
Bodin said Brigham's other Virginia abortion clinic, in Virginia Beach, is open and in compliance with regulations.
American Women's Services website lists four clinics in Maryland. That state shut down a clandestine clinic in Elkton where Brigham was discovered to be illegally performing late-term abortions.
Brigham operated clinics in Pennsylvania but was banished in 2012 for persistent violations.
In New Jersey, Brigham's role in his enterprise is under review. After the state's Board of Medical Examiners revoked his license and ordered him to divest his interests in 2014, he transferred the seven clinics to his medical director - for no payment - and created a new company to help manage them.
Two months ago, the board ruled that even though the arrangement raises "red flags," an administrative judge must hold hearings to consider whether it is permissible.