Family Seeks $10M, Saying Sickle-Cell Was Not Properly Treated
7-16-2013 20:46:00

   ARLINGTON, Va. (CN) - Kaiser's failure to properly treat a woman's sickle cell-related condition over the years resulted in her death at 20, her family claims in a $10 million lawsuit filed in Arlington County Circuit Court, Virginia.
   Christel Wade, decedent Lauren Wade's mother and personal representative of her estate, has sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. dba Kaiser Permanente; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.; Pulmonary and Medical Associates of Northern Virginia Ltd., Lauren's internists, hematologist, pulmonologists and family practitioners, for wrongful death.
     Decedent had been going to Kaiser since about 1997, but no one had ever "administered, nor ordered, hydroxyurea" for her, according to the complaint. The medication reduces the risk of recurrent acute chest syndrome and sickle cell pain crisis, the complaint says.
     After Lauren developed sickle cell pain crisis, no one at either defendant hospital sought a hematology consultation, according to the complaint. Defendant Virginia Hospital took initial but not follow-up chest x-rays, the complaint says.
     Then Lauren went into respiratory distress, at which time x-rays were taken, and she was shown to have significant bilateral basilar airspace disease, according to the complaint.
     Then she had another pain crisis, the complaint says. Still no hematology consultation was requested.
     After another pain crisis, Lauren was transferred to another hospital. An X-ray showed a right lower lobe infiltrate, but no follow-up X-rays were taken.
     Lauren went into respiratory distress again, yet no incentive spirometry was performed, the complaint says.
     Lauren then went through a fiberoptic bronchoscopy, yet no defendant ordered an exchange transfusion with erythrocytaphereesis.
     Then Lauren died.
     Edward L. Weiner of Weiner, Spivey & Miller PLC in Fairfax, Va. represents the plaintiff.