Patient Claims Kaiser Missed Aortic Dissection
HONOLULU (CN) – A man is in a wheelchair for life because a Kaiser doctor misdiagnosed his aortic dissection, he claims in the First Circuit Court of Hawaii.
Mark Velarde and his wife Lori Velarde sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Hawai’i Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc. and Seema Misra, M.D. for medical negligence.
Mark Velarde, 54, went to the Kaiser Moanalua emergency room with sharp chest and mid back pain, the afternoon of May 11, 2015, according to the lawsuit. He was seen by two nurses and Dr. Misra, who diagnosed him with bronchitis and sent him home around that night with prescriptions for Prednisone, Azithromycin, Ibuprofen and Pepcid, it says.
About 4:30 the next morning, Velarde got up to go to the bathroom, where he fainted, the complaint continues. He crawled back to bed, called 911 and was taken to nonparty Queen’s Medical Center where he was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, requiring surgery.
“Mr. Velarde eventually recovered from surgery but was left a permanent paraplegic. His permanent paraplegia is due to a vascular spinal cord injury caused by the aortic dissection that defendants failed to diagnose and treat. Had defendants properly diagnosed and treated Mr. Velarde’s aortic dissection, Mr. Velarde’s permanent paraplegia would have been prevented," the complaint states.
Since his surgery, Velarde has developed several pressure sores, some of which, “tunneled down to invade his organs,” according to the complaint.
Velarde wound up back in the hospital in July 2016, the complaint continues.
“He had developed sepsis, a blood stream infection caused by infection of the large, deep, decubitis ulcers (pressure sores) which had tunneled through his anus and had reached the bone,” it states. (Parentheses added.)
“Mrs. Velarde has been providing the enormous assistive care her husband requires, while at the same time trying to work part time at Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center. Kaiser Moanalua inexplicably has been cutting back on Mrs. Velarde’s work hours, which has increased the Velardes’ financial distress caused by the defendants’ negligence,” the complaint states.
The Velardes seek special and general compensatory damages, costs of suit, attorney’s fees and pre- and post-judgment interest. They are represented by Mark S. Davis, Michael K. Livingston and Loretta A. Sheehan of Honolulu.