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9 Year Old Child Discharged After Routine Tonsillectomy, Dies Hours Later

Anyialah Greer, a nine-year-old from Detroit, died this January after undergoing a routine surgery to remove her tonsils. Her mother, Sonia Gambrell, is threatening to sue Detroit Medical Center, parent company of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan where her daughter had the tonsillectomy.

Before the surgery, Gambrell was nervous about allowing her daughter to undergo the procedure. She had pushed off the surgery for years, but doctor’s convinced her it was medically necessary to help Anyialah with her snoring problems. She finally permitted the procedure last December.

There are 530,000 tonsillectomies performed on children younger than 15 in the United States every year, making it the third most common procedure performed on children. It is usually recommended to treat tonsillitis, an inflammation and/or infection of the tonsils. Possible complications to the surgery include “post-operative bleeding, anesthesia complications, extreme hemorrhage during surgery, post-operative infections, and surgery complications.”

Gambrell says she wishes she had kissed her daughter goodbye before they took her to surgery. She also told reporters, “I still feel like I’m dreaming. Like, ‘Where is my daughter?’ Someone is going to come up and tell me it’s all over. That this was a mistake. She can’t die from something they do every day.”

The procedure usually takes about 40 minutes, but in Anyialah’s case, she was in surgery for over two hours. She was allegedly not feeling well after the surgery, but was discharged from the hospital and died within a few hours.

Gambrell says that her child should not have been discharged because she was not in a stable condition. She told Fox News Detroit that her daughter “wasn’t ready to leave yet. I felt like we were brushed off. She left too soon.” She particularly blames the surgeon, Dr. Bianca Siegel, who was an ear, nose and throat specialist and discharged the girl.

In addition, Gambrell says that she was unable to obtain the prescription pain medication, oxycodone, that was prescribed to her daughter due to restrictive government regulations meant to regulate the narcotic. She went first to pharmacies, then took her daughter to St. John’s Hospital, but they could not provide her with the drug either.

Gambrell has enlisted the help of an attorney, James Harrington IV, who works on medical malpractice cases. Harrington told reporters, “I don’t know how she could be considered stable when she died just hours after discharge.” He is suspicious about the lack of information regarding the case and believes certain questions should be asked, such as, “What was the anesthesiologist doing? What happened in the OR? What did the nurses know? As far as I’m concerned, every single person who looked at this kid has to answer questions. I am furious about this.”

If you have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, or if a loved one has died, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian today at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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