Lawsuit Filed: Woman Sustains Brain Injury After Los Angeles Hospital Fails to Diagnose Respiratory Failure

Los Angeles, Calif. — Nhi Nguyen remains in a coma to this day, after being found with vomit in her respirator, which was merely wiped away by the staff at Kindred Hospital Brea, according to a new lawsuit. Instead of recognizing that Nguyen, who had a documented history of a stroke and chronic congestive heart failure, was in respiratory failure, the staff at Kindred Hospital Brea allegedly failed to check any of her vital signs, or notify her physician of the incident.  Upon transfer from the facility to a different hospital, Nguyen fell into a coma, and physicians confirmed that she had suffered an anoxic brain injury due to lack of oxygen.

Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner filed a lawsuit against Kindred Hospital Brea for elder abuse and negligent hiring and supervision.

“The horrific injuries allegedly suffered by Nhi at the hands of Kindred Hospital Brea is yet another example of the inherently dangerous, yet all too common practice of understaffing and underfunding at a medical facility,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Sadly, Kindred Hospital Brea, despite being fully aware of the comprehensive level of care Nhi required, clearly ignored her needs and withheld required care, which led to her life-threatening and potentially permanent injuries.”

Allegations and Background

In March 2016, Nguyen was admitted to Kindred Hospital Brea following surgery for additional procedures and recovery.  At the time of her admission, the facility was fully informed and aware of her preexisting conditions and medical history, including that she had suffered from a stroke and congestive heart failure.  These medical conditions required extensive assistance with all of Nguyen’s activities of daily living, including eating, grooming, toileting, assistance with medication and transfers.

In addition, the lawsuit states that Nguyen required a mechanical respirator to ensure she received proper oxygenation. The respirator required monitoring to ensure it was properly functioning at all times.

In March 2016, the lawsuit alleges that Nguyen was found to have vomited into her respirator, yet her physician was never notified and the facility’s staff merely cleaned the vomit and placed the mask back on her. The lawsuit also states that the facility failed to check her vitals after she was found with vomit in her mask, and therefore, neglected to identify that Nguyen had gone into respiratory failure.

Upon transfer from Kindred Hospital Brea to another hospital, it is alleged that Nguyen went into a resultant coma, and she was confirmed to have suffered an anoxic brain injury resulting from a lack of oxygen.

According to the lawsuit, Nguyen’s current cardiologist has given Nguyen a 25% chance of recovery.  Her neurologist believes she may have a 40% chance of recovery, while her pulmonologist gives her a mere 5% chance of recovering.