Police is investigating the death of a 72-year-old Thai woman who suffered a severe allergic reaction to anesthesia while undergoing an operation at a newly-opened plastic surgery clinic in Soi "Town in Town" 6 in Bangkok's Wang Thong Lang district on Thursday afternoon.
An initial autopsy at the Police General Hospital showed that the unnamed woman's liver had ruptured and some ribs were broken. Results of other tests were expected in 15 days, a source said.
Metropolitan Police Area 4 chief Pol Maj-General Theerapong Wongratpitak said the doctor, the nurse and the nursing assistant who were involved in the woman's treatment at the clinic had been interviewed. They said the woman - who had been a client at another branch of the clinic since 2012 - came into the clinic to receive the treatment at about 4pm on Thursday.
They told police that, as a test by anesthesia pad yielded no allergic reaction, the doctor proceeded to give her 24 jabs of anesthesia, totaling 12cc. He then went to the restroom before starting the operation.
When he returned, the doctor was told by the nurse that the patient had developed abnormal symptoms including significantly low blood pressure so they gave her first-aid treatment and called for an ambulance. The woman was pronounced dead at 7.30pm.
Theerapong said police would look into related matters such as the clinic's previous record and personnel licences and the medicines used in the procedure as well as whether the six-storey chophouse the clinic is located in adheres to the Building Act.
The clinic is the second branch to open since October 9 and is still in process of applying for a medical facility permit.
Police initially charged the unnamed clinic owner with operating a medical facility without permission (punishable with a maximum five-years imprisonment and/or a maximum Bt100,000 fine), he said. The other charge of recklessness causing another person's death would be filed later when police gather sufficient evidence, he added.
National police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda has instructed investigators to thoroughly probe the case to boost the public confidence, said police spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen.
The deceased woman's family said only that they would let justice run its course in terms of the police investigation against the clinic, as the family had no doubts about the cause of death.
They collected the body from the morgue for religious rites at Wat Prok.