State on lipo pole barn: Infections & bad meds

Reports outline findings of inspections before Dr. Bradley Bastow's license suspended

An undated courtesy photo of Brad Bastow.


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — State reports allege unsanitary conditions, questionable business practices and a series of complications for patients at the rural Allegan County pole barn where a doctor was performing liposuction.

In May, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended Dr. Bradley Bastow’s license. He had been operating illegally out of a pole barn along 114th Avenue in the quiet community of Glenn, between Saugatuck and South Haven.

In the documents 24 Hour News 8 obtained Wednesday through the Freedom of Information Act, state regulators said they found numerous violations, including performing procedures in an unsanitary, unfinished pole barn; mixing animal and human drugs; and taking a controlled substance from the business for personal use. The state also says Bastow improperly stored and disposed of medical waste.

Nearly all of the unidentified patients told state investigators they were required to pay in cash: No checks, credit cards or insurance payments were accepted.

Nearly all of the patients suffered some type of infection after undergoing a procedure, the state reports show. One patient said her primary care doctor diagnosed her infection. Another said her doctor found an infection in her lower abdomen after seeing Bastow.

One patient said when she went in for her surgery, a dog was allowed to run around the operating room. She also said Bastow didn’t use sterile sheets. Instead, he used what she described as a “brown or black, furry blanket.”

A state inspector described Bastow’s office as “unsanitary, not sterile and cluttered.”

An inspection in May found adulterated medications, meaning they were unfit for human use. A veterinary injectable medication was stored with human medications. Several expired medications were also found.

The inspector’s conclusions said Bastow “was practicing medicine, storing, administering and dispensing medications without regard for public health and safety.”

The Allegan County Health Department warned the public away from the practice after emergency responders were called there around midnight April 20 because a patient was having trouble breathing and her blood pressure was fluctuating after she underwent liposuction. Emergency responders said Bastow wouldn’t cooperate with them.