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Parents of teen who died following breast surgery file Palm Beach County wrongful death lawsuit alleging Florida medical malpractice

In Palm Beach County, the parents of Stephanie Kuleba are suing Boca Raton plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Schuster, Delray Beach anesthesiologist Dr. Peter Warheit, and Warheit’s employer Dr. Scott Berger for medical malpractice resulting in her Florida wrongful death. Stephanie, then 18, died in 2008 after a surgical procedure to correct breast asymmetry and inverted nipples. In their Palm Beach County wrongful death lawsuit, Thomas and Joanne Kuleba claim the defendants neglected to properly diagnose in a timely manner, and treat, their daughter’s malignant hyperthermia, which can be triggered by anesthesia. The Kulebas also say that the defendants did not administer enough Dantrolene and waited too long to contact 911. According to the family’s Boca Raton, Florida medical malpractice lawyer, Stephanie’s death was preventable. He claims that 95% of people with malignant hyperthermia survive, and physician error is typically the cause of related fatalities. According to Dr. Frederick Lukash, a plastic surgeon who was asked by CBS’s The Early Show to discuss the condition soon after Stephanie’s death, malignant hyperthermia can be treated with Dantrolene if the drug is administered immediately after the symptoms show up. Plastic Surgery Malpractice Like all other physicians, plastic surgeons can be held liable for medical malpractice if negligence or carelessness results in injuries or deaths. Plastic surgery malpractice can lead to serious injuries that may even require that the patient undergo additional surgeries to correct. In some case, a botched plastic surgery can lead to permanent disfigurement, permanent damage, infections, scarring, organ damage, severe asymmetry, and even death. Anesthesia errors can also result in injury or death. It is the anesthesiologist’s responsibility to monitor the patient’s vitals and make sure prior to giving someone anesthesia that he or she does not have a medical condition or is taking certain drugs that could result in an adverse reaction. Unfortunately, anesthesia mistakes occur more often than we would like to believe. Even if a surgical procedure was performed for cosmetic purposes, a plastic surgeon owes patients the same duty of care that other doctors do. Failure to provide that care can be grounds for a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. Parents of West Boca teen who died during breast surgery sue doctors, Sun-Sentinel, September 23, 2009 Fla. Teen Dies During Breast Surgery, CBS, March 26, 2008 Related Web Resources: Living with plastic surgery mistakes, ABC News, July 29, 2009

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