Boston Doc Who Fell Asleep During Surgery, Inhaled Gas on Lunch Break Gets License Revoked

A doctor that fell asleep during surgery in December 2005 and then inhaled anesthetic gas on his lunch break a month later has had his license revoked by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, the Boston Globe reported.

Dr. Thomas Ho, while working on rotation at Children’s Hospital in Boston, was reportedly the only anesthesiologist in the operating room when he dozed off after he had taken a prescription drug.

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Ho admitted to both falling asleep in December and later inhaling the anesthetic Isoflurane during his lunch break in January 2006, saying he was having a panic attack and “felt like he was going to die,” reported.

“No patient was harmed,” Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Davis told the newspaper. “As soon as the situation was discovered, he was discharged from Children’s.”

Ho, an anesthesiology resident based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, had been operating on a limited license that would have expired June 2006.

The doctor went on voluntary leave in January 2006. He must show at least 15 months of continuous sobriety and stick to a chemical dependency monitoring contract to apply for a new license, the newspaper reported.