A nine-year-old girl died in Detroit after having a tonsillectomy done to remove her tonsils. Doctors advised nine-year-old Anyialah Greer to get the procedure to help her sleep apnea.
Anyialah’s family was nervous when a standard surgery that usually takes 40 minutes took over two hours. The tonsillectomy was on December 8, 2015.
When Anyialah left the surgery room at 2:23 P.M., she was drooling and her nose was bleeding. The surgeons assured the family that it went fine.
At 3:05 P.M. Doctors gave Anyialah painkillers and sent her home. Then by 6:00 P.M. that day, she was dead.
The whole community is in shock that the tonsillectomy procedure was a failure. Friends, teachers, and classmates say Anyialah was a sweet young girl.
Sonia Gambrell, Anyialah’s 27-year-old mom, is suing the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The hospital just opened over a year ago.
Gambrell says that it feels like she’s dreaming, that she can’t comprehend that her daughter is gone. She is questioning why there was a mistake if they do the standard procedure daily.
Tonsillectomies are common procedures for children. In the US, it’s the third most common operation, with 530,000 done annually. The chance of death is one in 50,000.
Tonsillectomy procedures are also commonly for patients that have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a chronic disorder where the patient stops breathing in their sleep.
Anyialah also had her adenoids removed that day. However, that operation is even more safe than a tonsillectomy.
Gambrell says that after leaving the hospital, her daughter kept falling in and out of conciousness. She also finds it hard to understand why they gave her a prescribed painkiller due to the government’s narcotic regulations.
Currently, the family is waiting to review the medical records and autopsy. The family’s attorney also says there are already many questions that need answers.
Berlin says that there are two primary areas of the investigation. First is why the procedure took so much longer than normal. And second is why was she sent home so early.
Detroit Medical Center owns the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. They refuse to comment on any questions regarding Anyialah’s care.