Clinic in Mexicali shut down after tragic incident

Evita Nicole Sarmonikas (Photo: Excelsior)

Three operating rooms and an intensive care unit have been closed in the Mexicali clinic where an Australian woman died March 20 during cosmetic surgery.

As well as those and other measures implemented by the federal agency Cofepris, the surgeon who operated on Eva Sarmonikas, 28, has been temporarily suspended by the Mexicali College of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Víctor Manuel Ramírez Hernández is also under investigation for possible negligence by the Baja California Attorney General’s office.

Evita Nicole Sarmonikas (Photo: Excelsior)
Evita Nicole Sarmonikas (Photo: Excelsior)

Sarmonikas had entered the clinic for buttock implants and liposuction, which have been described as simple procedures, but died on the operating table. An autopsy found that death was caused by a pulmonary embolism and acute pulmonary oedema.

Cofrepris, the Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risk, said it discovered a number of infractions against federal regulations at the Hospital Quirúrgico del Valle del Centro.

Among them:

• Expired Medicines and supplies, equipment poorly maintained;

• Lack of air filtration system in the intensive care unit;

• Operating room and patient recovery area with no physical division between the two;

• Inadequate management of biological waste;

• Medical personnel whose documentation showing accreditation was not complete.

Officials have suspended operations at 80 cosmetic clinics for irregularities in various states in the last two years.

Sarmonikas’ family, unable to cover the costs of traveling to Mexico to recover her body, set up a campaign on the fundraising website gofundme. As of today donors have given US $30,675, exceeding the target by $675.

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