Young woman is diagnosed as septic after routine breast implant fix.
Ashleigh Cope, 23, visited VIP Plastic Surgery to correct a complication from a previous breast augmentation. However, because of dire complications related to this supposed simple fix, 40% of her body is now covered with scars and she is suing Dr. Christopher Khorsandi for malpractice and neglect.
“Medical records cited in her lawsuit describe the deformity she needed to fix,” said her attorney, Matthew Hoffmann, “She had what’s referred to as a double bubble. It was a failed breast implant.”
Dr. Khorsandi, who put them in, recommended liposuction and a fat graft to solve the issue.
“It was going to be in his office, and it was going to be a minor procedure,” Cope said. However, Khorsandi’s office is not a surgical center. She added, “He said it didn’t need to be in a center, that they do it all the time. Of course, I trusted my doctor.”
The procedure to fix the implant took place on November. 26, 2019, and just hours later, Cope became severely ill, doubling over in pain and vomiting over and over again. She said, “I just still kept getting worse. The pain was just unbearable.”
She was told to come back the next day, and Dr. Khorsandi offered her nausea medication and IV fluids. Cope explained, “I don’t really remember much after that.”
Unable to stop vomiting, Dr. Khorsandi sent Cope to the emergency room at Green Valley Ranch, a division of Henderson Hospital, which is part of the Valley Health System.
“And said that he would call down there for us so we could get in and get out as soon as possible,” her mother, Andrea Cope, said.
Hoffman recalled, “She ends up at the ER at Green Valley. She’s diagnosed as septic. And she’s held there for approximately nine hours. Nine hours!” There were no available beds in the intensive care unit.
“She was in septic shock for a specific reason, which doctors failed to find,” according to the lawsuit, which states further, “There was no documented exam of her surgical site – the lower back where the liposuction was.”
“I realized it,” her mother said. “I saw the marks on her first.” The marks were caused by flesh-eating bacteria, which more than likely came from an un-sterile environment or improperly sanitized equipment. The issue quickly spread throughout Cope’s body, leading to multiple organ failure and massive tissue loss.
“If you can’t stabilize or admit a patient, you have to transfer them out to a higher level of care,” said Hoffmann. “You can’t hold them hostage until your parent hospital has an opening.”
An attorney for Henderson Hospital and Green Valley Ranch Emergency Department issued a statement, saying, “Our highest priority at Green Valley Ranch Emergency Department and Henderson Hospital is the health and safety of our patients. Due to patient privacy laws and the pending legal action, we cannot provide specific comments on the care and treatment provided. However, when the evidence is presented in this matter, it will demonstrate that Green Valley Ranch Emergency Department and Henderson Hospital provided appropriate care and treatment and took all steps necessary in a timely manner to address the unique medical issues presented in this case. We stand behind the treatment provided by our caring staff and extend our sympathy for the patient’s situation and our hope for her full recovery.”