Brain Damage Alleged From Bad Post-Op Monitoring
ARLINGTON, Va. (CN) – Inadequate post-op monitoring and over-medicating left a man disabled, his grandmother claims in Arlington County Circuit Court.
Ruby L. Lowe, guardian ad litem for Michael A. Taylor, sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., dba Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., dba Kaiser Permanente and Virginia Hospital Center Arlington Health System, dba Virginia Hospital Center.
“Prior to the defendants’ negligence, Mr. Taylor was a healthy 24-year-old adult. He suffered from obesity but had no other major medical conditions,” the lawsuit states.
When Taylor needed his gallbladder removed, a Kaiser internist and a Virginia Hospital Center surgeon both agreed he needed a sleep study beforehand, because his weight suggested a risk of sleep apnea, according to the complaint. The surgeon scheduled Taylor’s operation at Virginia Hospital Center for April 5, 2016, so she would have the results of the sleep study before proceeding, according to the complaint. Taylor had the sleep study at Kaiser’s Fall Church location on March 22, but the surgeon did not have the results on April 5 as expected, according to the complaint. She went ahead with the operation anyway, according to the complaint.
The results of Kaiser’s sleep study came the day after Taylor’s operation, showing Kaiser had diagnosed him with severe obstructive sleep apnea and recommended continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) therapy.
Lowe contends that Taylor did not get the post-op CPAP therapy he needed, that his post-op oxygen levels should have been carefully monitored and that his pain medication should have been restricted.
“Throughout the night, nurses gave pain medication to Mr. Taylor. At approximately 10:20 a.m. on April 6, 2015, Mr. Taylor was found unresponsive and in respiratory distress. Mr. Taylor’s oxygen saturation was below 50%. The rapid response team responded; Mr. Taylor was escalated to a code blue. No health care provider knew how long Mr. Taylor had been without adequate oxygen,” the complaint states.
Taylor was put in intensive care and put on a ventilator, the complaint continues. A CT scan revealed brain damage consistent with lack of oxygen.
“The critical care team informed Mr. Taylor’s family, including Ms. Lowe, that he may not survive or that, if he did, Mr. Taylor would have permanent and significant damage,” the complaint states.
“Mr. Taylor has suffered permanent brain damage. Mr. Taylor is unable to walk, prepare meals or toilet himself. Mr. Taylor is unable to extricate himself from the chair in which he spends his waking hours. Mr. Taylor lives in one room of his grandmother’s home where he requires 24/7 aid. Mr. Taylor requires ambulance transport to attend doctor visits. If there is an emergency such as a fire in Ms. Lowe’s home, Mr. Taylor cannot leave the home. Michael Taylor has suffered and will continue to suffer from permanent and irreversible brain damage, wasting of musculature, and pain, among other ailments, which have left him permanently unable to care for himself,” the complaint states.
Ruby Lowe seeks $20 million. She is represented by Scott M. Perry, Mikhael D. Charnoff and Leslee M. Soudrettte of Perry Charnoff in Arlington and by Nicholas A. Balland, also in Arlington.