Woman dies after botched nose operation

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Photo of surgeons in an operating theatre: Shutterstock
10:35 CEST+02:00
A woman who was admitted to hospital with a broken nose died after a doctor failed to provide her with sufficient oxygen during the operation. The anaesthetist has now been found guilty of manslaughter.

Alessandra Rauco, 35, died from cardio-respiratory failure following an operation for a broken nose at the Casilino Nuovo hospital in the town of Leonessa, central Italy.

Rauco’s nose was broken when her motorbike crashed with a car on the morning of December 3rd 2009 while on her way to work. Apart from the broken nose she emerged virtually unscathed.

On December 5th the woman was admitted into hospital for an operation on her nose. However during the procedure she began to experience breathing difficulties due to insufficient oxygen.

According to the prosecution the anaesthetist did not react quickly enough to save her life, and after three weeks in a coma

Rauco eventually died from cardio-respiratory failure.

The anaesthetist Vincenza Spagnoli, who sedated the woman before her operation, has now been found guilty of manslaughter and has been handed a one-and-a-half-year sentence.

“Alessandra died and no one can ever give her back to me,” the brother was quoted as saying after the verdict.

“Now what I want is that this incident serves as a warning to prevent other similar tragedies from happening.”


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