NEW YORK — A surgeon says he made a mistake in warning Bart Giamatti that the baseball commissioner's hands indicated possible pulmonary disease. He said the hands he saw during a televised game were those of another man.
On Aug. 20, Dr. William G. Cahan, a senior attending surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, saw Giamatti on his 45-inch TV screen at a game between the Mets and Dodgers.
Cahan, 76, a lung cancer specialist, thought he saw Giamatti's fingers. He noticed the person had "clubbing" of the fingers--the fingernails were curved up from the sides and the front. Among the diseases associated with clubbing of the fingernails are lung cancer and emphysema.
Cahan contacted American League President Bobby Brown, who relayed a warning to Giamatti that he should have a chest X-ray. Giamatti died Friday of a heart attack.