An Arizona plastic surgery doctor with an ‘extreme indifference to human life’ has been convicted of killing three patients who died at his clinic after botched liposuction operations during routine plastic surgery.
Plastic surgeon, Peter Normann had only undergone six hours of liposuction training but insisted on offering the cosmetic surgery procedure to the public, which resulted in fatal consequences for three of his patients.
Two of his victims overdosed on anaesthesia during the liposuction surgery operations at his clinic located in Phoenix, Arizona, in which an unqualified massage therapist served as his assistant during the surgeries.
The third victim of Dr. NNormann had allegedly died of an embolism when her own body fat was re-injected into a vein by mistake during the surgery.
All of his patients were wrongly intubated which starved them of needed oxygen and was a major contributor to their deaths, the court heard.
Normann, 50, only qualified as an internist, a position different from and not even to the level of a certified plastic surgeon, had never served any residencies in plastic surgery or anesthesiology, yet he carried out multiple cosmetic surgery procedures at his clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. He was also did not even have the proper monitoring equipment and oxygen in case something were to go wrong during any of the operations.
Even more disturbing to know, is when the massage therapist Norman had used in the past was unavailable, he used a former restaurant worker as his assistant with no formal medical training, the court heard.
The unqualified plastic surgery doctor has now been convicted of two counts of second degree murder and one count of manslaughter, and will be sentenced on August 19. The hearing was told that Normann’s first victim was 33-year-old Ralph Gonzalez, from Scottsdale, Arizona, who came to see him in 2006 to undergo a routine liposuction surgery.
During the operation the patient had stopped breathing because he was given the wrong dose of a drug. Dr. Normann then wrongly put the breathing tube down his esophagus instead of his trachea, which deprived Gonzalez of oxygen. When the paramedics arrived, Normann refused to let them properly put the tube in Gonzalez, and insisted on accompanying them to the hospital, the court was told.
One of the EMT technicians threatened to break Norman’s arm to get the tube out.
Normann’s second victim was Alicia Santizo Blanco, 41, of Gilbert, Arizona, who died after undergoing a number of cosmetic procedures, which included liposuction, buttock reshaping, and the repositioning of a breast implant.
The court was told that Normann injected the fat directly into Mrs Blanco’s vein, which went to right her lungs and eventually killed her. The plastic surgery doctor then incorrectly put the breathing tube in her throat, just as he had done with Mr Gonzalez.
Following this incident, Normann agreed to a voluntary suspension of his license and then appointed homeopath Gary Page, who was not qualified to carry out liposuction. He operated on Leslie Ann Ray, 53, from California, in July 2007 with no assistant, anesthesiologist, or monitor.
After the cosmetic surgery procedure, Mrs Ray experienced breathing problems while she was in the recovery room. However, once again, Normann incorrectly put the breathing tube down the patient’s esophagus.
According to the Arizona County Republic, the Arizona Deputy County Attorney Jeannette Gallagher told the court that a ‘combination of incompetence and arrogance in trying to cover up his (Normann’s) incompetence led to their deaths’.
She also said that he had an ‘extreme indifference to human life’ and that the final death was due to a ‘conscious disregard of substantial and unjustified risk of death.’
Normann’s massage therapist has already admitted to eight counts of unlawful practice of medicine and was put into jail for five years, last year.
During the trial, Normann’s lawyers claimed that the deaths were an accident as the autopsy findings concluded. However, after a day and a half of deliberations, the jury disagreed and convicted Normann.
NOTE: If you are considering undergoing any sort of cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, we strongly urge you to contact multiple board certified plastic surgeons before meeting with them and/or undergoing any operation.