"Dr Botch" - the New York surgeon who performed the fatal facelift on Limerick woman Kay Cregan - has settled the multi-million-dollar lawsuit against him for an undisclosed amount.
The family of the late Kay Cregan had taken the lawsuit against Sachs, anesthesiologist, Dr. Madhavrao Subbarao, and a nurse, Susan Alonzo Francisco, after Cregan's 2005 death.
Cregan, 42, died on St. Patrick’s Day 2005, three days after a $32,000 "basic" facelift at the Manhattan offices of plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Sachs.
Sachs' insurance company settled with the family two weeks ago but the family is also suiing Subbarao and Alonzo Francisco, for abandoning Cregan and failing to provide proper post-operative care.
Cregan, an employee in Limerick City Council at the time, traveled to New York for her operation after reading a report in an Irish newspaper about a woman from Co. Carlow who attended Sachs’ clinic for a facelift. Cregan, who is survived by her husband Liam and two sons, Eoghan and Brian, kept the trip a secret from her husband so she could surprise him with her new procedure. It cost $32,000.
New York-based Irish lawyer Thomas Moore is representing the family in the trial.
Moore told the Irish Voice on Tuesday that he is “pretty certain” a verdict will be reached by Friday.
Moore said before a jury was selected about two weeks ago, the family settled with Sachs’ insurance company. He did not reveal the amount.
Although, said Moore “there is no question Sachs failed Cregan,” he claimed, “The biggest failure in this case was post anesthesiology.”
Moore said records have shown that complications related to her nose procedure caused the Irish woman’s death -- a death that was fully preventable.
Moore explained that during the night of March 15, while recovering from the surgeries, Cregan began to bleed into her pharynx, the part of the neck and throat situated immediately behind the mouth and nasal cavity.
“Kay was lying down and the blood went back and not down her nose, and it pooled and clotted,” said Moore.
Cregan then went unassisted to the bathroom and fell on the floor.
Moore estimates that Cregan, while moving, loosened the clot in her pharynx, allowing it to travel down the trachea and causing a blockage.
“That stopped her breathing,” he said.
According to Moore, if the nurse on duty had been able to intubate Cregan she would be alive today. However, Francisco was not capable of intubation.
“This,” said Moore, “is where the anesthesiologist failed miserably.”
“He knew the nurse could not put in the intubation tube that goes down the trachea to give oxygen to a patient,” he said.
“This is the only way to revive someone in this situation. The anesthesiologist left her there knowing if something like this happened she couldn’t do it.”
The nurse panicked and made four phone calls -- to the anesthesiologist, to Sachs, to the operating room nurse from the night before and then to the doorman requesting he call EMS.
“It’s absolutely bizarre that a post anesthesiologist care unit nurse took all that time to get the help,” he said.
The first EMS unit to arrive at Sachs’ office was unable to intubate Cregan. The second one did but “it was too late,” said Moore.
“They eventually got her back at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and got her vital signs, but she was hopelessly brain dead,” added Moore.
The following day, March 16, an EEG brain scan reveled very little brain activity.
Her husband, Liam -- who had believed his wife was visiting friends in Dublin -- rushed to New York from Ireland and was by her side when the life support machine was switched off on March 17.
An autopsy reveled that Cregan was a very healthy 42 year-old with no problems.
“There was absolutely no reason in the world why this woman should have died,” said Moore.
Sachs, who was been dubbed "Dr. Botch" in the New York media, has been involved in more than 30 malpractice cases since 1995.
Damages will be decided based on the loss of a wife and mother of two young children, in addition to the pain and suffering Cregan suffered before her death.