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Doctor loses license six years after patient dies

A physician has lost his license to practice medicine in the state of Maryland six years after one of his patients died. While it is not entirely clear if a previous surgery had anything to do with the patient's death, the doctor may be guilty of medical malpractice.

In 2005, a Maryland woman sought out plastic surgery in anticipation of her son's upcoming nuptials. The former medical fraud investigator received a variety of procedures, including a tummy tuck and liposuction.

The doctor that performed the surgery was a board-certified plastic surgeon. The surgery was done at the doctor's clinic and lasted about 10 hours. The woman stayed at the clinic overnight following the lengthy procedure and returned home the following day.

After returning home, the woman spent two nights on the couch sleeping next to her husband. According to her husband, she was able to get up and talk. However, on the morning of Feb. 26, the man woke to find that his wife had died.

The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrhythmia, but the family found the timing to be more than coincidental. After conducting their own investigation, the family learned that the doctor who performed the surgery had lost hospital privileges two years before the woman's surgery. In addition, his outpatient clinics were not allowed to conduct procedures that lasted longer than six hours.

The family also discovered that this was not the first time the doctor had lost a patient after a prolonged surgery. Just five months before the woman's surgery, another patient died.

The family did eventually settle out of court with the surgeon, but the doctor later filed for bankruptcy and moved to Florida where he continues to practice. The doctor maintains that the woman's death and the surgery are unrelated.

Source: abc2news, "Baltimore County family waits more than 6 years to see doctor disciplined," Joce Sterman, Feb. 1, 2012

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