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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Aesthetic clinic, doctors yet to be charged over patient's death

THE police are yet to file charges against the people possibly liable for the death of a 29-year-old businesswoman who underwent three cosmetic surgeries in a clinic in Mandaluyong.

Shiryl Saturnino died at Icon Clinic after undergoing liposuction and breast and butt augmentation procedures performed by doctors Jose Jovito Mendiola and Icon's head doctor and founder Samuel Eric Yapjuangco.

Mandaluyong chief of police Senior Superintendent Joaquin Alva said they are still waiting for the result of the autopsy and histopathological examination conducted by the PNP crime laboratory.

“From the result of the tests, makaka-conclude tayo kung ano talaga ang nangyari. If it was a simple heart attack, walang liability ang doctors. But if it was a result of trauma or the medicines used on her, we will file criminal charges against the doctors as well as the nurses,” he said.

He said such tests usually take a month to finish according to the crime laboratory.

Chief Inspector Jose Villarta, Mandaluyong police investigation unit head, said based on initial investigation, Saturnino arrived at Icon around 5 p.m. of Saturday along with her daughter and cousin.

He said the surgeries finished at around 2:40 a.m. of Sunday and while being transferred to the recovery room, the doctors noticed that Saturnino’s heart is no longer beating, prompting them to perform a CPR on her.

The clinic then called Makati Medical Center to send help, and upon the arrival of Dr. Kristel Marie del Rosario, she declared Saturnino dead around 3:21 a.m.

Villarta said based on the clinic’s record, it was the third time Saturnino underwent surgery at Icon: the first was in 2013 for a nose surgery while the second was in 2015 when she undergone breast enhancement.

He also said that it was the fist time a patient died at the hand of Icon Clinic.

Dante Anabe, Saturnino’s uncle, said they are not blaming anyone for his niece’s death but they still wanted to know what really happened.

“We are not in a position to say there was negligence. But maybe her body could not handle having three procedures done at the same time. She was able to handle the first two operations maybe because these were done one at a time,” he said.

For their part, Icon through their legal counsel Estelita Cordero said they will fully cooperate with the police’s investigation on the incident.

“Ms. Saturnino was a valued and regular patient whom we took care of for many years. Right now, there is an ongoing investigation on what really caused the passing of Ms. Saturnino. It is our responsibility to inform the public about the truth and we are fully cooperating with the investigation,” she said.

Villarta said Cordero asked for five more days to submit their affidavits as they are still preparing the necessary documents that may help the investigation.

He said the doctors as well as the two nurses who assisted them may face charges of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide.

Despite the incident, Cordero said the Icon Clinic is still fully operational to cater to their other clients. (SunStar Philippines)
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