An 18-year-old Florida woman who elected to have breast augmentation surgery in August 2013 at a cosmetic surgery center located in Miami, Florida experienced a depressed heart rate shortly after the surgery and had atropine administered by the anesthesiologist and needed chest compressions. She was rushed to a hospital emergency department about one hour after the surgery and was placed in the intensive care unit.
The incident resulted in the woman being in a coma from which she slowly began to emerge in October 2013. Nonetheless, she had suffered permanent brain damage. She has progressed very slowly and is no longer using a feeding tube for nourishment but now lives at home with her parents where she requires around-the-clock nursing care. The woman is unable to walk and can only speak a few words.
The woman’s parents are planning on filing a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit against the cosmetic surgery center. They also plan on petitioning the court to become their daughter’s guardian and the guardian of their four-year-old grandchild.
The cosmetic surgery center’s defense may be that the woman allegedly did not provide the surgeon with her relevant medical history, including that she had allegedly suffered a similar incident at the time she gave birth to her child during which she needed to be intubated after receiving a spinal anesthetic.
While the surgeon apparently has no history of reported medical malpractice claims against him and he is currently licensed without restrictions by the Florida Board of Medicine, the anesthesiologist who provided services during the breast augmentation surgery had been sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years of probation in Iowa in 2006 for illegally dispensing over 70,000 doses of controlled substances for no legitimate medical purpose.
The anesthesiologist completed his prison term. His Florida medical license was suspended in 2007 for one year, effective after his release from prison, by the Florida Board of Medicine, followed by two years of probation and the requirement of being directly supervised by another licensed Florida physician for a two-year period. Even though the anesthesiologist’s medical license is currently active (it expires on January 31, 2015), he is permanently prohibited from internet prescribing.
If you were advised that an anesthesiologist intending to provide life-supporting medical services to you during surgery had a criminal record for illegally dispensing over 70,000 doses of controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose, had spent time in prison for his illegal activities, had his medical license suspended for a year, had his medical privileges placed on probation for two years, was required to be directly supervised by another physician for a period of time, and had his prescribing authority over the internet permanently revoked, would you consent to the anesthesiologist having your life, your well-being, and your future in his hands during elective surgery?
While we do not know if the 18-year-old woman in Florida was advised about the anesthesiologist’s checkered past, we assume that she had not been told because she evidently consented to his participation in her elective surgery.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or other harm as a result of medical malpractice in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Florida medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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