Coroner's finding: liposuction complication (November 2012)
In a finding of November, 2012, the State Coroner made a number of recommendations.
The findings related to the death of a young woman in 2008 as a result of multi-organ failure due to Clostridium perfringens myonecrosis (resulting in gas gangrene) complicating liposuction. As part of his findings the coroner discussed the Inter-Jurisdictional Cosmetic Surgery Working Group established by the Clinical, Technical and Ethical Principal Committee of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council. This report can be found here.
The Working Group was tasked with identifying and reviewing the adequacy of consumer safeguards in relation to cosmetic, medical and surgical procedures and in particular, safeguards relating to advertising, marketing and recruitment; information available to consumers; informed consent; regulatory coverage; and professional/clinical standards of practice. The Coroner’s Court endorsed a number of the recommendations made.
The Court also recommended that the cosmetic surgery industry be advised that an acceptable level of post operative care must include a personal post-operative consultation with the patient within the first 24 to 48 hours of a liposuction procedure.
Other recommended actions included referral to SA Health for consideration of developing improved clinical management guidelines regarding gas gangrene for distribution to the profession. More information is included in the Coroner’s finding (LME) at www.courts.sa.gov.au.