The family of Kay Cregan – a mother of two from County Limerick who died on St Patrick´s Day in 2005 following a facelift procedure in New York – have agreed to a settlement of 3.1 million dollars in compensation for cosmetic surgery fatality with the insurers of the negligent surgeon, anaesthesiologist and a post-operative care nurse.
Kay (42) had flown to New York and paid plastic surgeon Dr Michael Sachs 32,000 dollars for the facelift procedure as a surprise for her husband, but her good intentions turned into tragedy when, as a result of the surgery, Kay started to bleed into her pharynx. It is believed that, because Kay was lying on her back at the time, the blood went to the back of her pharynx and clotted. When she later went to the bathroom unassisted the clot loosened, travelled down her trachea and prevented her from breathing.
The nurse on duty, Susan Alonzo Francisco, found Kay motionless on the bathroom floor but did not know how to intubate her to enable air into her lungs. Eventually the nurse called the emergency services, but by the time Kay arrived at St. Luke´s Roosevelt Hospital little brain function could be found. Kay remained on a life support machine for two days before it was eventually switched off.
Dr Sachs, Nurse Alonzo Francisco and the anaesthesiologist – Dr. Madhavrao Subbarao – were all named as defendants by Kay´s husband, Liam, in the resultant claim for cosmetic surgery fatality compensation. Dr Sachs for causing the initial bleed due to his negligence, nurse Alonzo Francisco for taking an unjustifiable length of time to call the emergency services and Dr Subbarao for leaving Kay in the care of a nurse who was unable to perform the intubation procedure.
The agreement came five years after the tragedy, and shortly before a jury at the New York Supreme Court were to announce their verdict on how much compensation for cosmetic surgery fatality should be paid to husband Liam and Kay´s two sons.