Lap-Band Death Linked to Anesthesiologist
â€œSuboptimal careâ€ by an anesthesiologist may have caused a woman to die after a recent weight-loss surgery. The surgery was connected to the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign, according to a report submitted to the Los Angeles County coroner.
Tamara Walter died on Dec. 26, only three days after having the Lap-Band surgery performed. A total of four patients in Southern California have now died after being referred by the 1-800-GET-THIN number to Lap-Band surgeries. A Los Angeles County deputy medical examiner concluded in the March 21 autopsy report that Walter’s death was an “accident due to suboptimal anesthesia care.”
Walter went into cardiac arrest after being left for 80 minutes with a nurse after surgery, and was transported to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died three days later. A report said that her respiratory problems, which included sleep apnea, led to the cardiac arrest.
New Lap-Band eligibility guidelines make it possible for people with a BMI of 30 with at least one obesity-related health problem, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea, to have the surgery. Previously, the surgery was limited to people with a BMI of at least 40 with no related health problems or a BMI of at least 35 with one or more obesity-related health problems. Health experts have expressed concern over the new guidelines, suggesting that they may be too low.
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