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Florida Plastic Surgeon Charged with Homicide After Delaying 911 Call During Wife’s Cardiac Arrest

June 19, 2024

 

 

 

A prominent Florida surgeon has been charged in connection with the death of his wife following a tragic incident in the operating room. Dr. Benjamin Brown, 41, was arrested on Monday, facing charges of homicide and negligent manslaughter, as confirmed by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest stems from an incident on November 21, 2023, at the Restore Plastic Surgery clinic in Gulf Breeze. Dr. Brown was performing multiple cosmetic procedures on his wife, Hillary Brown, when she became unresponsive and began seizing on the operating table. Despite the emergency, Dr. Brown reportedly hesitated to call 911, which has led to severe legal repercussions.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were dispatched to the clinic following the emergency call. Hillary Brown was quickly transferred to a hospital where she was placed on life support but unfortunately succumbed to her condition a week later on November 28, 2023.

“After an extensive investigation in conjunction with the District One Medical Examiner’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office, our detectives requested a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Benjamin Brown,” stated the sheriff’s office in a news release.

 

 

The Florida Department of Health, which has been closely involved in the investigation, had earlier filed a request in May to restrict Dr. Brown’s medical license. Their report reveals disturbing details about the procedures on November 21. Dr. Brown was performing a scar revision, arm liposuction, lip injection, and ear adjustment on his wife. Alarmingly, Hillary Brown had prepared her own IV bags and ingested a “handful of multi-colored pills,” including Valium, before the surgery. The exact contents of the IV bag were not properly documented, and the pills were not recorded at all.

Furthermore, Hillary Brown assisted in her own procedures by suturing her skin, raising questions about her medical training and the clinic’s practices. Photos on the clinic’s Facebook page show her in medical scrubs, suggesting some level of involvement in medical activities.

During the procedures, Hillary exhibited signs of distress, including restlessness, muscle twitching, and blurred vision. According to the health department, these are early indicators of lidocaine toxicity. Despite these symptoms, witnesses reported that Dr. Brown continued to administer lidocaine, ignoring the signs of overdose until Hillary suffered a seizure and cardiac arrest.

When a medical assistant suggested calling 911, Dr. Brown allegedly responded with “no” or “wait.” Multiple employees confirmed that he was asked several times if emergency services should be contacted, but he insisted on managing the situation himself. It was only after 10 to 20 minutes post-seizure that he finally instructed an assistant to call 911.

Upon arrival at the trauma center, Hillary Brown was found to have elevated lactic acid levels and suspected lidocaine toxicity. Tragically, she never regained consciousness.

 

 

 

Dr. Brown’s arrest on charges of second-degree felony homicide and manslaughter by culpable negligence was followed by his booking into the Santa Rosa County Detention Facility. He was released on a $50,000 bond later the same day. As of now, it is unclear if Dr. Brown has retained legal representation. His arraignment is scheduled for July 11.

In the wake of these events, Restore Plastic Surgery has been listed as “permanently closed” on Google.

This incident has sent shockwaves through the community, raising serious concerns about medical practices and patient safety at the clinic. The investigation continues as authorities seek to uncover more details surrounding this tragic case.

 

 

Credit: NBC News

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