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Principal dies after donating marrow: Questions remain

There's not much more selfless than donating part of your body to help save someone else. That's what one high school principal from New Jersey did, but he lost his life as a result.

The principal donated bone marrow to help save a 14-year-old boy in France. He admitted it would be painful in an interview prior to the surgery, but he was happy to do it. Sadly, he died as a result of that operation. He had lapsed into a coma and failed to recover.

The exact cause of the man's death isn't yet known, but he did have some medical conditions that would make the procedure more complicated. One was sleep apnea. Sleep apnea makes general anesthesia extremely dangerous, so intravenous therapy was ordered instead. He then found out that he couldn't do stem cell donation if he had the sickle cell trait, which he did.

However, doctors came up with a plan to allow him to donate by going under local anesthesia. This would let them better monitor his breathing during the process. Sadly, despite the fact that the procedure was low risk, he was one of 2.4% who experienced serious complications.

It's not clear if there will be a medical malpractice claim, but it is possible once the cause of death is released. In cases like this, it's extremely important to look into the cause of death. If a patient shouldn't have had surgery, there could be ethical implications that make for a solid medical malpractice case. Your attorney can help you decide if you have a strong case.

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