William Hammesfahr is an American neurologist practicing in Clearwater, Florida, who specializes in treating stroke victims. He is best known for his involvement in the Terri Schiavo case, during which he examined Schiavo and testified on behalf of her parents.
For stroke victims, Hammesfahr recommends aggressive treatment with drugs to open constricted blood vessels and improve blood flow to the affected areas of the brain. He also advocates using Transcranial Doppler testing (TCD) to monitor patients' progress, which involves using sound waves to measure the speed of blood flow through the brain. The concept of dilating blood vessels to treat strokes is not widely accepted by the medical community. Hammesfahr's research is not published in peer-reviewed journals, but in Lifelines, a medical journal hosted on his own website, Medforum.
In 2003, Florida's Board of Medicine accused him of "performing medical treatment below the standard of care, engaging in false advertising concerning his treatment of strokes, and exploiting a patient for financial gain." The board cleared him of the first two charges, but found that he had charged a patient for treatment she did not receive. The board's decision was overturned by the Florida Court of Appeal on March 26, 2004, which cleared Dr. Hammesfahr of the remaining charge. His clinic in Florida is in The Villages.
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