Doctor accused of being drunk at work at Hazard hospital

HAZARD, Ky. (WTVQ/Herald-Leader)- A doctor can no longer practice in Kentucky after being accused of being drunk at work at the Hazard Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital (ARH).

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure released an order for an emergency suspension against Dr. Thomas Paul Splan on Friday.

Splan specializes in internal medicine and currently lives in Virginia.

The paper reports it was early April when ARH employees reported Splan was drunk at work.

A doctor said his eyes were red and he could barely stand up. Another employee said she saw him asleep at his desk and he had fallen asleep while talking with her.

The suspension order notes his blood alcohol level was .187.

According to the paper, Splan said he had been treated for alcohol dependence and had been sober since 2011. He said he then drank alcohol on a flight to Lexington at the end of March.

The order says after he started working at the hospital in Hazard in early April he would drink in the evening after work until midnight before going to work again at 6 a.m.

On the day employees complained, Splan said he felt tired and hungover, but not intoxicated.

The Herald-Leader reports the treatment center Splan was at says he has severe alcohol use disorder and shouldn’t be practicing medicine until he finishes residential treatment.

Early in October, Splan told an investigator from the board he hasn’t drunk alcohol since he was in Hazard and he doesn’t think he needs treatment. He said he hasn’t had any issues at the hospital he has been working at in Virginia.

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