New York residents who are thinking about having some sort of cosmetic procedure performed may be wise to conduct thorough research before choosing a plastic surgeon or medical facility. While errors during these elective procedures may be relatively rare, they can cause catastrophic injuries or even death when they do occur. One such case involved an 18-year-old Florida woman who was left with severe brain damage after cosmetic surgeons botched a routine breast augmentation procedure in 2013.

The woman’s blood pressure and pulse dropped suddenly as surgeons prepared to go to work, and their efforts to resuscitate their patient were unsuccessful. She soon became unresponsive and slipped into a coma that lasted for two weeks. Her condition has only improved slightly in the three years since the operation, and her mother says that she is still unable to stand for more than a few seconds and speaks only a handful of words.

A complaint filed by the Florida Department of Health blamed the physician who administered the anaesthesia for not allowing enough air into the woman’s lungs for assisted breathing to be efficient as they worked to resuscitate her. The doctor concerned was once again allowed to practice medicine after paying a $10,000 fine and attending 15 hours of medical education classes. Media outlets later reported that he also lost his license in 2006 when he was sent to prison for selling prescription drugs.

This case demonstrates how dangerous even a routine surgical procedure can be. It also shows that the medical community and state regulatory agencies cannot always be relied upon to protect patients. Those who have been harmed by surgical errors may pursue civil remedies, and attorneys with medical malpractice experience may seek compensation on their behalf by filing lawsuits against the doctors or medical facilities involved.