- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

DETROIT (AP) - The mother of a 9-year-old Detroit girl who had her tonsils removed said she died Dec. 8 just three hours after leaving a hospital.

Sonia Gambrell said she’s still trying to get answers about the death of Anyialah Greer and wonders how her daughter could have died from cardiac arrest after a routine procedure.

Autopsy reports still are incomplete, The Detroit News (https://detne.ws/2iPAOxC ) reported, but medical reports reviewed by the newspaper indicate that Anyialah could have had an obstructed airway, complications from anesthesia or an unknown heart condition. Anyialah needed the surgery because she had sleep apnea.

Gambrell is preparing to sue the Detroit Medical Center, and has hired attorney James J. Harrington IV. She also alleges that Dr. Bianca Siegel, who performed the surgery at Children’s Hospital in Troy, shouldn’t have discharged Anyialah because her health was unstable.

“Under federal law, you can’t discharge people unless they’re in stable condition. I don’t know how she could be considered stable when she died just hours after discharge,” Harrington said.

Detroit Medical Center, which owns the hospital, declined to comment on any specific questions about Anyialah’s care. Officials said they are “deeply saddened” by the girl’s death. Siegel didn’t respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.

Gambrell said after being discharged, her daughter was in and out of sleep. The doctor had prescribed the painkiller oxycodone, but Gambrell found it difficult to find a pharmacy that would fill it due to government regulations on narcotic supplies.

After Gambrell failed to find a pharmacy, she noticed her daughter was unresponsive in the back seat.

“She didn’t do nothing. I touched her chest and she fell forward,” Gambrell said. “Her skin was cold.”

Tonsillectomies are the third most common childhood surgery behind circumcision and ear tubes and are overwhelmingly safe, said Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, distinguished professor and chairman of otolaryngology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

But there are risks, such as bad reactions to anesthesia or hemorrhaging as long as two weeks after surgery, Rosenfeld said.

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Information from: The Detroit News, https://detnews.com/

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