Sono Bello doctor's license suspended for substandard care

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:11 AM

RENTON, Wash. -- Dr. Marco Sobrino's medical license has been suspended for a month and he'll be on probation for three years this according to the ruling by the state's Medical Quality Assurance Commission.  It's another chapter in a story the KING 5 Investigators have been tracking for more than two years.

Dr. Sobrino performed liposuction on a patient at Sono Bello, a body countouring center, in Bellevue.  The patient, Aura Javellana, died the next day. 

A medical examiner ruled she was killed by a toxic dose of Lidocaine, a common anesthetic, used during the procedure.  

Sono Bello and the victim's family have already agreed to a $1.8 million legal settlement in the case, but nothing has happened to the doctor until now.  He will be able to keep on practicing medicine with restrictions and oversight.

KING 5 tried to talk to Dr. Sobrino for the last two years but he has refused.  Thursday he faced state regulators and finally told his side of the story publicly talking about his remorse and his responsibility as a doctor and about the phone call that came the day after surgery.

"Tragic news the following day when we got a call from the police saying our patient had been found dead, alone, in a nearby hotel," said Dr. Sobrino.

Dr. Sobrino addressed state medical regulators and Aura Javellana's family through her attorney.  

"She was my patient...she was my responsibility...I have not been able to be the same one since she died," said Dr. Sobrino.

But Dr. Sobrino maintains that nothing he did in surgery caused her death.  This from Sono Bello's attorney today, who despite the medical examiner's ruling, disputes that an overdose of Lidocaine killed Aura Javellana.

Read a portion of the Sono Bello statement regarding license suspension here.

"The main mistake was we let her go home by herself and we had made a mistake to let her go home this way," said Dr. Sobrino.

The deal signed and approved by the commission today suspends Dr. Sobrino's license for 30 days and places him under probation with periodic review for three years.

For the family that lost the vibrant young woman, it doesn't seem like enough.  But state regulators call the sanctions significant and say the clinic's patients are safer now.

"Sono Bello has made significant changes to its practice to make sure this doesn't happen again and this settlement reflects that," said Michael Farrell with the Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

"They certainly wanted his license revoked...they have expressed that to me.  I think they will have some closure from this, but they will be disappointed," said the family's attorney Cydney Campbell Webster.

"They have my greatest sympathy and this is the first time I can express to them...I am sorry for her death," said Dr. Sobrino.

Dr. Sobrino says substantial changes have been made at Sono Bello to make sure patients have better post-operative care and that patients and caregivers understand what's required.

The agreed order, approved today, cites seven different reasons for labeling Dr. Sobrino's actions that day "below the standard of care required" in Washington.  It also says the medical evidence in this case is not clear that the amount of Lidocaine administred by Dr. Sobrino was the cause of death.

Background

The state health department didn't know about the death until KING reported it.  Operating on a tip in August 2009, a few months after Aura's death, KING began it's investigation, ultimately obtaining police and autopsy reports and Sono Bello's own medical records.

November 2009
Woman dies following liposuction in Bellevue



February 2010
Questions about clinic's use of common anesthetic



April 2010
State takes action against doctors at Bellevue clinic



August 2011
Sono Bello settles lawsuit for $1.8M in liposuction death 

 


Background

The state health department didn't know about the death until KING reported it.  Operating on a tip in August 2009, a few months after Aura's death, KING began it's investigation, ultimately obtaining police and autopsy reports and Sono Bello's own medical records.

November 2009
Woman dies following liposuction in Bellevue

February 2010
Questions about clinic's use of common anesthetic


April 2010
State takes action against doctors at Bellevue clinic


August 2011
Sono Bello settles lawsuit for $1.8M in liposuction death



 

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