Mom With Airway Constriction Served Solid Food, Died, Son Says
WASHINGTON (CN) – A woman admitted to a Kaiser hospital for severe breathing difficulties died because she was not monitored when staff left her alone, her son claims. His wrongful death lawsuit was filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, District of Columbia.
Christopher A. Kim, individually and as the personal representative of the Estate of Kyong S. Kim, sues Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. for a survival action claim, wrongful death, and lack of informed consent.
Kim says his 58-year-old mother had been experiencing increasing shortness of breath in the week leading up to her death. She was diagnosed with tracheal stenosis, or airway constriction, and treated as an outpatient with steroids and nebulizer therapy, but the condition worsened. Then she went to the emergency department of Kaiser’s District of Columbia MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and was admitted as an in-patient for a tracheal dilation procedure, according to the action.
Once admitted, however, she was not seen by a doctor until the following day, no orders were issued to have her airway or oxygen saturation levels monitored, and the patient was not told to avoid solid food, Kim says. She was allowed to eat lunch without supervision, “was not assessed after solid food intake,” and she then went into respiratory arrest and ultimately died despite eventually being rushed to the ICU, the suit alleges.
Kim maintains defendants did not arrange a prompt Interventional Pulmonology consultation, did not issue physician admission orders, and the nurses did not request those, did not require continuous pulse oximeter monitoring, and did not warn his mother of the dangers of eating solid foods with her condition.
Kim seeks economic damages, and damages for mental anguish and extreme physical and emotional distress in the sum of $10 million, plus legal costs and interest.
Kim is represented by Catherine Bertram of Bertram & Arnell PLLC, in Washington, D.C., and by Joseph Cammarata, of Chaiken, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, also in the District of Columbia.