Infection Claims Man's Life After Lack of Monitoring, Widow Says
SEATTLE (CN) – A grieving widow claims her husband died after a cut in his esophagus got infected, in King County Superior Court.
Judith Wangen sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Overlake Hospital Medical Care, and Dr. John S. Emery, on behalf of Lawrence E. Wangen.
Lawrence had laparoscopic surgery on June 8, 2015 to fix a hiatal hernia and gastric reflux.
Two days later he was not doing well: he had more pain than expected for a minimally invasive procedure, needed increasing levels of oxygen, had an elevated heart rate, and had low urine output relative to his fluid intake, according to the complaint.
The hospital did a CT scan and found a tear in his esophagus, likely caused by the surgery. Though Lawrence already had sepsis, a life-threatening complication of an infection that can lead to multiple organ failure, Dr. Emery decided to transfer him to a different hospital for repair surgery, the complaint states.
Though he had surgery late in the evening of June 10, he died six weeks later as a result of the tear and resulting sepsis, his widow says.
Had staff monitored her husband’s condition appropriately after surgery, they would have found the sepsis sooner, and he probably would have been able to go home instead of dying six weeks later, she claims.
She seeks damages for wrongful death, medical malpractice, loss of consortium, and loss of future earnings.
Wangen is represented by Kristin Houser with Schroeter Goldmark & Bender.