Allegations that a botched liposuction sent a patient into heart failure has raised questions about why Colorado allows plastic-surgery centers to operate without state oversight, and whether health officials are putting patients in peril by failing to root out sloppy handling of powerful painkillers and anesthetics.
The lawsuit names as a defendant Elizabeth Lammot Campbell, who provided anesthetic services for several area plastic surgeons.
In a separate, ongoing case, Campbell has admitted to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Lone Tree Police Department that she stored unsecured drugs in a bag in her car and on a shelf in her garage, court documents show. Many of those drugs had expired. She also told the DEA and police that she may have administered expired drugs to patients, often failed to refrigerate drugs as required and regularly had drugs handed off to her in parking lots.
Authorities were tipped off to Campbell after she returned a purse to a retailer at Park Meadows Mall in May, law enforcement records show. Inside the purse, the clerk found a needle in its package and bottles of the anesthetics Midazolam and Propofol, the same drug linked to the overdose death of Michael Jackson.
In May, Campbell entered into an agreement with the Colorado Nursing Board to suspend her license to practice as a nurse while the board investigates her handling of drugs. Lone Tree police say they still are investigating her.