No Anesthesia Caused Death of Weakened Patient, Suit Claims
3-6-2019 01:44:00

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Kaiser surgeons operated on a patient with no sedative and caused his death, family members claim in their Los Angeles County Superior Court Case.

Edma S. Kizirian, Taline K. Boyamian, Armand R. Kizirian, and the estate of Sebouh Z. Kizirian by and through its representative, Armand R. Kizirian, sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Health Plan, Inc., Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Louise Yeuk Yan Yeung, M.D., Stephen Howard Lebowitz, M.D., Ryushi Thomas Saisho, M.D., Sabah Abdul Sattar, M.D., Shetal Hashmukh Patel, M.D. and Yen-Liang Hiko Lin, M.D. for wrongful death, medical malpractice, negligent infliction of emotional distress, medical battery and loss of consortium.

Sebouh Z. Kizirian had surgery at defendant Kaiser’s Los Angeles Medical Center in November 2016, to repair a ventral hernia, according to the action.

His recovery did not go as expected and he was not discharged the same day, but was in the hospital for a week due to “pulmonary emboli,” (blood clots in the arteries of the lungs), that had possibly been caused by “the hernia surgery and/or by recent long-distance travel,” the suit states.

An echocardiogram administered prior to the surgery by defendant physician Lebowitz showed that the pulmonary artery systolic pressure was “substantially higher than he reported,” and his interpretation of the test missed the fact that Mr. Kizirian’s “right ventricle was significantly swollen and completely out of proportion with his left ventricle,” the complaint charges.

A follow-up echocardiogram was prescribed for three months after the surgery in Kizirian’s “surgery encounter notes,” but his primary care physician, defendant Saisho, never scheduled it, according to the action. 

When the recurrence of the ventral hernia necessitated a follow-up surgery in November 2017, Saisho cleared him for the surgery, and even though the recommended echocardiogram had not been done, defendant surgeon Yeung performed the second more invasive hernia surgery, the action alleges.

After the second surgery, Kizirian rapidly declined, yet he was left under the care of a surgery resident. He had been recommended to go to the intensive care unit, but that order was delayed because he needed a CT scan, but was too weak to be removed from his room, the suit states.

When Kizirian went into shock, an emergency surgery was attempted, but “Kaiser’s anesthesiology department refused to be involved in this surgery,” so the operation proceeded without sedation, the complaint claims.

The defendant anesthesiologists, Sattar, Patel and Lin, “realized the grave mistake they had made, joined the operation, and began to administer sedative to Mr. Kizirian. However, at that point, the surgery had already begun and the damage was done,” the suit states. 

Kizirian had been given a paralytic in order to insert a breathing tube, so he could not move or speak, but he “was able to feel everything as he underwent the removal of a hernia mesh without any sedative whatsoever,” the action alleges. 

The operation without sedative “was a proximate cause of his death as the lack of sedative exasperated Mr. Kizirian’s underlying cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions,” the complaint claims.

Kizirian’s family seeks actual, consequential and incidental losses and money damages, punitive damages, interest, penalties and legal costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Taline K. Boyamian of Boyamian Law, Inc., in Glendale, California, and Armand R. Kizirian of Kizirian Law Firm, P.C., in Glendale, California, attorneys representing themselves and all other plaintiffs.