Investigation into two deaths following surgery at a Tulsa hospital

Friday, October 31st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa hospital and the medical examiner are looking into the unexplained deaths of two children.

The only common link known at this point is that both recently had surgery at Southcrest Hospital. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan looks into it. They are possibly unrelated yet equally tragic cases - 2 little boys who died after surgery that was not supposed to be life threatening. 6-year-old Nicholas Marlow died after surgery on an ingrown toenail. 3-year-old Steven Verdin died after a tonsillectomy. Both had surgery at Southcrest Hospital.

Clark Brewster, Attorney: “It would seem something went wrong from the recovery room on in both cases.” Clark Brewster is the lawyer representing both families in what may become a lawsuit. "There are serious questions about how each of these boys was dealt with after surgery and how they were sent home when I don't believe they should have been, and that's going to be the focus of our review."

Both children were treated in early October at Southcrest. Both died within a couple of days of surgery - for no obvious reason. Southcrest, in a written statement, said "The two patients were seen for unrelated reasons, underwent different procedures, were treated by different doctors and were not in the hospital in the same time period; therefore, we have not been able to establish any correlation between the two patient deaths."

Southcrest Hospital says it's started it's own internal investigation and is cooperating with the external investigation by the medical examiner. The ME's office says the results of autopsies from the children won't be done for several more weeks.

Brewster believes the two cases will be linked by those results - solving a mystery about what caused two little boys to die - after what was supposed to be a routine procedure.