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Kaiser Permanente Patient Horror Story

Jennifer Daugherty

Surgical Misadventure," "Lack of Safeguards" Leads to Child's Death
(as told by her grandfather, Bob Daugherty, Napa)

In June 1995, my 5-year-old granddaughter died in surgery following a failed attempt at removing Kidney Stones using a new orthoscopic procedure. Her autopsy report quotes one doctor as saying, "this death was caused by a surgical misadventure." 

According to the report, a doctor who was involved in the operation, "when asked about safeguards and precautions" replied "there were none." The doctor linked the death to the lack of appropriate protocols in place, leading to the use of an adult procedure instead of a pediatric procedure. Another doctor is quoted in the report as saying "the procedure was new to the hospital" and "there were no protocols or procedures to follow." 

My granddaughter's 54 pound body was filled with approximately 8 liters of water. Water was used, when a saline solution should have been used, since a child can not absorb water as an adult can. Additionally, according to the report, there was no one monitoring the intake and output of fluids. 

After the surgery, when it was apparent things were not normal and vital signs were awry, she was transferred by helicopter, attached to life support equipment, to a children's hospital 50 miles away. But it was too late. At the children's hospital, she was determined to be clinically brain dead with no chance of recovery. 

Our family faced untold hours of living hell. Her parents faced the horrendous decision of disconnecting the life support of their otherwise perfectly healthy 5-year-old. A separate volume would be required to express my emotions -- the double suffering of helplessly watching the agony of my child lose a child.
The unsuspecting public deserve to be aware that these problems exist prior to entrusting their life and welfare to those in control of our medical profession.