Family win right to sue second doctor in US

THE family of a Limerick woman who died after a face-lift operation in New York has won the right to sue a second doctor involved in the procedure.

Last week New York’s Supreme Court ruled that a jury should decide whether anaesthesiologist Dr Madhavrao Subbarao had “abandoned” 42-year-old Kay Cregan, from Croom, after the operation.

Ms Cregan died after post-operative bleeding blocked her airways. She had complained of being dizzy and fainted the morning after she had undergone five procedures including a face-lift, eyelid surgery and nasal reconstruction.

Michael Sachs, the plastic surgeon who carried out the cosmetic procedure, and Susan Alonzo-Francisco, a nurse who provided aftercare, are already being sued by Ms Cregan’s husband, Liam.

A previous attempt to sue the anaesthesiologist was unsuccessful, but last Thursday, Thomas Moore, Mr Cregan’s New York-based medical negligence lawyer, won an appeal and the case has now been reinstated.

Mr Moore said he was “gratified” by the court’s decision. “Finally Mr Cregan and his sons, Brian and Eoghan, will get their day in court against all the responsible parties,” he said.

Dr Subbarao, a certified anaesthesiologist, charges $2,500 (e1,800) a day to oversee operations for plastic surgeons who work in private offices.

Ms Cregan died in March 2005 after travelling to New York for surgery having read about Dr Sachs in the Sunday Independent and having met him in Ireland. Dr Sachs was serving a three-year probation at the time after admitting medical misconduct. He had already been sued on 30 occasions by facial surgery patients.

Mr Cregan was unaware his wife had travelled to New York for surgery.

The original action against Dr Subbarao accused him of negligence on the basis that he failed to provide proper post-operative care, failed to have a qualified individual treat and monitor Ms Cregan after her operation, abandoned her, and failed to intubate his patient, a medical procedure that assists breathing.

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