Juan Luis Santiago (second left) with the rest of the family. J-L
A 33-year-old man has died after undergoing a stomach reduction operation at a private hospital in Marbella. His family have taken the matter to the National Police calling for an investigation into a possible case of medical negligence.
Ángel Santiago Fernández’s death was caused by the peritonitis he contracted after laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery at Marbella’s USP hospital. His family claim that doctors detected the infection “too late”. After a month in a coma and following two further operations the father of four died on Thursday last week.
Weighing 158 kilos and diagnosed with morbid obesity, the patient decided to undergo the operation that would allow him to lose “between 70 and 80 kilos” explained his brother, Juan Luis Santiago. The five-hour operation took place on September 14th.
Eight days later Ángel was discharged, although his brother says that he was in so much pain he went home in a wheelchair. “The doctor said that it would be stress and that he would be more relaxed at home.”
However two days later the patient was back at the hospital in severe pain. Emergency surgery revealed the infection. He went straight into intensive care, in an induced coma and on artificial respiration. As his condition worsened, two specialists - from Seville and Malaga - were sent for and decided to operate again. “It was too late”, said Juan Luis. “Three organs had already stopped working: a lung, a kidney and the liver”.
The hospital has stated that all procedures were “scrupulously” complied with.
Ángel Santiago’s death has caused consternation in Las Albarizas in Marbella where he lived with his family. There, he was very popular and was president of the Undebel Villela gypsy association.