Unsafe Medical Practices in the News

I am always dismayed to hear about cases where there has been an apparent lapse of good judgment and improper medical care.   I can point to two cases, both winding their way through the court system in Los Angeles now.  First of course is the sensational pre-trial hearing for possible manslaughter charges against Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

The second, less prominent case, that concerns a physician Dr. Ehab Mohamed, trained as a gynecologist, and doing cosmetic surgery.  According to CBS,  a Los Angeles County coroner’s report concludes an Encino cosmetic surgeon did not know what he was doing when a patient of his died undergoing a 14-hour liposuction procedure.

I have often preached about the dangers of having multiple procedures because the increased time under anesthesia carries added risk.   This case is so far from the standard of practice for elective surgery, it is hard to believe.

The report says that Dr. Ehab Mohamed apparently was not aware of the properties of sedative drugs and how to administer them — accidentally killing a 61-year-old woman with a lethal combination of three medications.  According to the report, “gross medical negligence” was involved in the death of Sharon Carpenter, who paid $100,000 thinking she was getting the best her money could buy.

I can’t imagine anyone paying $100,000 for any cosmetic surgery procedure, let alone have a physician not specifically trained as a plastic surgeon grab the scalpel.

Both of these cases are real tragedies.   Complications may occur with any surgery, however, common sense dictates that patients should carefully explore the credentials of their surgeon.

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