Joachim Boldt, a leading German anesthesiologist who had a 2009 paper in Anesthesia & Analgesia retracted last month* amid allegations that he had misrepresented parts of the study, has been relieved of his duties as chief physician at Ludwigshafen Hospital.
A press release from the German Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI) condemns Boldt’s actions. The press release goes on (translated from German):
On 28 October the editor of Anesthesia & Analgesia withdrew a publication of the author Joachim Boldt, because of suspicion of scientific misconduct. In his work, Boldt had pretended to have compared two drugs, known as plasma expanders. This should have involved two different patient groups connected to a heart lung machine during heart surgery. A scientific commission has concluded that there was no convincing evidence that study was conducted. One indication of this is that, for example, no laboratory and patient data of the study are available.
As we noted in a post last month:
In a retraction notice published online today, Steven L. Shafer, editor-in-chief of the journal, writes that Joachim Boldt and his coauthors failed to obtain approval from an institutional review board, did not get patient consent and did not follow up as promised with volunteers in their study, reported in the December 2009 article, “Cardiopulmonary Bypass Priming Using a High Dose of a Balanced Hydroxyethyl Starch Versus an Albumin-Based Priming System.”
Boldt has more than 200 papers to his name. There may be criminal charges pending, according to a report in Die Rheinpfalz. Another report in the same paper suggested that the state medical board filed a complaint against Boldt last week.
We’ll update as we hear more.
*Sentence corrected 11/30/10 to reflect that the journal’s editor, Steven Shafer, retracted the study rather than Boldt, and on 1/25/11 to add missing word “retracted” as per comment below.
Thanks to Nancy Lapid for translations.