September 24, 2009

Anesthesia at outpatient clinics targeted

A Florida couple whose teenage daughter died in a 2008 breast-augmentation surgery say anesthesia should not be used at outpatient surgical centers.

Joanne and Thomas Kuleba said at a news conference Wednesday that outpatient surgical centers are not equipped to respond to medical emergencies related to anesthesia such as the one that claimed the life of their 18-year-old heir daughter Stephanie, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Thursday.

Stephanie Kuleba died in March 2008 after going into cardiac arrest due to a severe reaction to the anesthesia used during her operation at a surgical clinic.

"Had the proper care been taken by medical professionals involved in her surgery, she could be here today and I would not be here before you,'' the late Boca Raton, Fla., teen's mother said.

The Kulebas have filed a lawsuit over their daughter's death against Dr. Steven Schuster and Dr. Peter Warheit, an anesthesiologist. The suit is for an unspecified amount of damages.

"Know and research your anesthesiologist as much as you would your surgeon,'' Thomas Kuleba said.