A 26-year-old mother of two died after Brazilian butt-lift surgery in Broward County, Florida. The cause of death was related to the improper administration of anesthesia. This case was so serious that the physician, Millicent Muir, M.D. had her medical license revoked. Dr. Muir, a Plantation gynecologist, was not certified to provide the level of anesthesia given to Jayhisha Williams on October 20, 2021. Ms. Williams had gone for plastic surgery at a facility in Plantation known as “The Best U Now”. Ms. Williams consented to receive Level 2 sedation, which is defined as moderate or conscious sedation. Dr. Muir gave the patient 50mg of Benadryl, 2mg of Versed, 50mg of ketamine followed by 50mg of Demerol, another 2mg of Versed, 200mg of ketamine and 10mg per minute of propofol. That level of anesthesia is known as Level 4 sedation or general anesthesia.
The patient only consented to Level 2 sedation with propofol.
To make matters worse, the patient was put in a prone position but never intubated (meaning no tube was ever placed in her trachea to keep an open-air flow route). Experts who reviewed the case said this would have most likely averted the terrible outcome. Ms. Williams’ heart rate slowed and she began suffering from an oxygen deficiency. Despite emergency medical services being rendered at a nearby hospital, she could not be saved. She went into “cardiac arrest and died due to an anesthetic administered higher dosage doses than the patient consented for, with an inappropriate combination of medications, with an unprotected airway, in a surgery performed both in the prone and supine positions, with an underwhelming resuscitative effort by a non-certified anesthesia provider”.
A review by the Florida Board of Medicine revealed that not only was Dr. Muir at fault, but so was the facility and plastic surgeon who not only knew of Dr. Muir’s lack of qualifications to administer general anesthesia but allowed the procedure to occur knowing that Dr. Muir was actually a gynecologist. The surgeon, Dr. John Nees, was hired by the facility as a “designated physician” despite being twice suspended by the State – once for flouting the rules by doing surgeries on suspension! A deeper dive into the facility revealed that it was actually run by the patient’s cousin who was called “Dr. Body” on the facility website and pictured with a stethoscope in a medical coat and scrubs despite not having a medical degree or medical license.
Anesthesia is as important a component of surgery as the surgery itself. A person contemplating surgery should discuss with their surgeon who will administer the anesthesia. Does the doctor work with a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or an anesthesiologist? Has the surgeon worked with this person before? (If so––how long or how many cases?) Get the person’s name and look them up. Check the provider on a state practitioner profile to see if they have been sued or had previous claims for malpractice. Check their educational status, license status, and disciplinary record. Is the doctor board-certified and if so by what board? Do an online search.
Ask about the choices you have in anesthesia types and effects. Be proactive and do not be shy or afraid to ask questions, even difficult ones like asking about prior adverse outcomes with the nurse or doctor the surgeon plans to work with.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists say, “stay safe by knowing what health factors, conditions, and habits can increase risks”. These conversations should start with your surgeon and then take place again with your anesthesiologist. Like a good carpenter will tell you: measure twice––cut once.
At Jeff Davis Law, we handle a variety of anesthesia-related medical malpractice claims throughout the State of Florida. Anesthesia malpractice cases can involve improper provider credentialing, inadequate or incomplete informed consent, incomplete history or screening, failure to monitor, excessive or inappropriate anesthetic agents, equipment failure, and other negligent acts or omissions that lead to patient injury or death.
Please call our law firm for a free, confidential case evaluation. We are available on a 24/7 basis at (305) 577-3777 and speak English and Spanish. Please visit us at www.jeffdavislaw.com for additional information.