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It’s All About Trust, Ensuring Your Safety Is Key

It’s All About Trust, Ensuring Your Safety Is Key
February 04
19:30 2014

Article Highlights

  • Lack of knowledge and/or ability, and her faulty judgment ended in tragic consequences
  • There is a rising concern regarding the quality of care and safety of patients in privately financed and informal health care settings
  • CPSO has specifically established a fact sheet for patients prior to seeking a cosmetic procedure

Safety is a factor we sometimes take for granted and might not consider when pursuing a specific medical consultation or procedure. Whether it’s seeing a dentist or doctor for a regular check-up, or when undergoing an elaborate surgical procedure, we tend to not think about any peripheral or even esoteric risks and trust that we are in sound, professional and caring hands.

Although violations of patient safety are not an endemic predicament that plagues the majority of medical facilities, hospitals and clinics, people should be well aware that they are not completely immune from potential risks to their health and well-being.

There was a tragic incident that occurred in Toronto, which was completely unnecessary and avoidable. In 2007, Krista Stryland sought a routine cosmetic surgery procedure, but died in hospital after undergoing liposuction, which was performed by Dr. Behnaz Yazdanfar in her Toronto clinic. In 2011, Dr. Yazdandar ultimately had her medical licence revoked for two years, was fined $219,000, and demoted to surgical assistant by a disciplinary committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). The CPSO stated that

“(Yazdanfar’s) lack of knowledge and/or ability, and her faulty judgment ended in tragic consequences. She violated her professional responsibility by treating not just one but many patients in an unsafe manner.” Yazdanfar appealed the decision but was denied by a three judge panel in a provincial divisional court in October 2013.

A Chicago-Kent Law Review symposium authored by Colleen M. Flood and Bryan Thomas, entitled Canadian Medical Malpractice Law in 2011: Missing the Mark on Patient Safety, stated the following

“Though Canada compares relatively well with other countries in terms of its rates of adverse effects, […]there is, however, rising concern regarding the quality of care and safety of patients in privately financed and informal health care settings, e.g. in private clinics, in long-term care homes and in home care”.

This assessment should be taken very seriously for those of us who are considering or pursuing procedures in private clinics. The CPSO has specifically established a fact sheet for patients prior to seeking a cosmetic procedure.

The fact sheet specifies what people should know when contemplating a cosmetic procedure, the various types of surgeons and their specialities, and what potential patients should ask these surgeons prior to any operation. Furthermore, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) strongly advises patients to find a surgeon who they can trust.

In particular, the ASPS has a section on their website (as does the CPSO), which emphasizes that patients seek surgeons which meet specific criteria, such as: certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the American Board of Plastic Surgery; following a stern ethical protocol; utilizing only medically accredited clinics; five years of operational training with two years of experience in cosmetic surgery, while having the necessary preparation and expertise in face, breast and body reconstruction; and the continued pursuit of additional medical and educational credentials, as well as patient safety principles and improvements.

It is absolutely crucial for prospective patients to conduct research on the clinics and surgeons they are considering for a cosmetic procedure.

While medical malpractice and incidents of injury and death are not an epidemic, there is always the risk of this occurring when in the care of a medical practitioner who is not board certified, does not possess the mandatory and vital training and experience, and does not practice in an accredited facility. Patients must find surgeons who they can trust. Otherwise, you are taking an unnecessary and blatant risk with your health and well-being.


Deep Body Media Corp.

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