Nine-year-old dies after tonsillectomy: Autopsy performed, cause of death pending testing

MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office say an autopsy was performed on a nine-year-old boy who died on February 12th following an outpatient tonsillectomy on February 9th.

The autopsy was performed on Tuesday, February 16th.

The cause of death in this case is pending further testing.

The child was found unresponsive at a home in the neighborhood near Locust and Pierce on February 9th, shortly after returning home from the outpatient tonsillectomy.

The child was transported to Children’s Hospital after he was found unresponsive, where he was pronounced brain dead on February 12th.


According to the medical examiner's report, the child's father indicated the child had been dealing with tonsillitis since November of 2015. A decision was made to have the child's tonsils removed. This was done on February 9th at a clinic near 106th and Oklahoma Avenue.

The report indicates the child was given a dose of oxycodone while at the clinic, and he was reportedly sleepy afterwards.

The child was discharged from the clinic and brought home, and later given another dose of oxycodone by his mother per the instructions, which called for 4.8 ml by mouth every four hours as needed for pain.

The child became tired again and laid down on the couch. Shortly thereafter, the child's parents noticed his breathing was labored and "sounded odd." The mother called the surgical outpatient center to speak with a nurse, but within a couple of minutes, the father requested that 911 be called.

When the child was taken to Children's Hospital, the report indicates the oxycodone he was prescribed was brought to the hospital, and a sample of the medication was sent out to a third party to be tested.

Toxicology testing will be performed in this case as well, according to the medical examiner's report.