PORTLAND – A Portland doctor was indicted by a grand jury on one count of manslaughter Tuesday for the late-night surgery that resulted in a friend’s death.
Dr. Soraya Abbassian began performing surgery on a 59-year-old employee and friend at about 10 p.m. on Dec. 15, according to the Oregon Medical Board. There was no support staff present at Abbassian’s Northeast Portland clinic at the time.
There were complications soon after Abbassian injected a local anesthetic into the woman’s skin, near her abdomen.
The patient complained of chest pains and shortness of breath before having a seizure and becoming unresponsive. Abbassian attempted to revive the patient “and administered about 15 chest compressions and then called 911,” according to the OMB’s order of emergency suspension for the doctor's license.
Abbassian hired well-known Portland criminal defense lawyer Stephen Houze to represent her. Houze also represents Terri Horman in the cases against her related to the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron Horman.
Emergency crews responding to the scene found the patient unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse. They said no CPR was being performed when they arrived. The patient was transported by ambulance to Portland Adventist Medical Center. She was maintained on life support until she was pronounced dead on the morning of Dec. 19.
The board determined Abbassian had not conducted a sufficient evaluation before the procedure began.
On Dec. 22, Abbassian told a board member she often performs dermatological procedures without support staff on site, the report said. She did not have an emergency “crash cart” on the premises.
She also told the board member she would call emergency services to her clinic “about six times a year," the report showed.
Abbassian's trial has been scheduled to begin on October 18.