Doctor disciplined in death of woman after breast-enhancement
Thursday, April 8, 2004 Posted: 11:37 AM EDT (1537 GMT)
SARASOTA, Florida (AP) -- State health officials restricted a plastic surgeon's license following the death of a woman who had breast augmentation.
The emergency order from the Health Department said Dr. Kurt Dangl committed gross malpractice and failed to adequately administer, monitor and record anesthesia given to Julie Rubenzer during the surgery last September.
Rubenzer, 38, never regained consciousness after the procedure. Her family in Waukesha, Wisconsin, took her home, and she died there December 26.
Kevin Crews, Dangl's lawyer, declined to comment Thursday.
According to the order issued Tuesday, Rubenzer received a "dazzling array of anesthetic agents given by singularly unqualified individuals" during the surgery.
State health records show no anesthesiologist on duty. The plastic surgeon was assisted by a registered nurse and a certified surgical technologist.
The order said Rubenzer went into respiratory failure, which Dangl failed to treat, causing her to go into cardiac arrest. Then, it said, he waited too long to administer cardiac compression.
"Dr. Dangl's acts manifest such a propensity for practicing below the standard of care that this type of conduct is likely to recur," the order said.
The order restricts Dangl to surgical procedures involving local or topical anesthesia. If he fails to comply, his license can be suspended. He has 30 days to appeal.
An attorney for Rubenzer's family, which sued Dangl last month, said the order fell far short.
"I find it hard to believe that they will continue to allow him to practice medicine," Richard Filson said.
The Health Department will present its findings to a panel that will determine if there's probable cause to take further action against Dangl.
Apr 8, '04
I work in Bradenton, FL (about 45 minutes north of Sarasota) and the health field is a small world around there (I've heard all sorts of rumors about the case). It's an outrage that this "surgeon" was practicing without qualified anesthetists/anesthesiologists. This ought to help push the point of RN's being stopped from administering anesthetics without the proper licensure (and I know that 99% of the time, the MD's are the one's pushing them to do it). I'm feel sorry for the family and hope Dr. Dangl's license to practice is suspended indefinitely (this isn't his first screw up).