You have come to the right place.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by Valley Medical Center please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have submitted complaints to the Department of Health in Washington State and those complaints have been ignored, again, please send me your story at email@example.com; if you have a chance please fill out the survey on state medical boards that is currently being conducted by a local patient advocate, Yanling Yu, of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety. We need to join together in our next steps.
This blog discusses in detail the total system failure at VMC in following basic medical processes established to ensure patient safety, health and recovery. The State of Washington Department of Health (DOH - MQAC, Facilities and Licensing, the Nursing Commission) lack of ensuring compliance (the government auditing a government hospital) and the lack of UW VMC reporting the errors will also be discussed. Does the DOH know about these issues but chooses not to address them? You bet they know.
I will continue on this journey to expose all those that are and continue to be responsible for the occurrence of preventable errors in King County, Washington. MY SON WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY HAD ANY PROCESS OR PLAN BEEN ESTABLISHED AND FOLLOWED CORRECTLY AT VMC BY THEIR DOCTORS AND STAFF.
Ask yourself these questions as you read through this blog about UW VMC:
If this was your child, what would you do?
If you get bacterial infections within days of a procedure being performed – are you safe?
If Dr. C Gabriel Alperovich performs a tracheotomy on you (you have already acquired MRSA, Enterobacter and Bukholderia in your lungs from prior UW VMC procedures) then next Dr. Alperovich places a G-tube in your side and within days you have a new bacteria (Pseudomonas) in your gastrointestinal track/lungs and incision sites (Burkholderia shows up later) – wouldn’t you think that cross-contamination occurred and/or the surgery equipment wasn't sterile? Obviously Dr. Alperovich didn’t re-glove.
If UW VMC neurologist, Dr. Joy Zhao, tells you that your son is brain dead (they can’t do anything else to “help” Mark) and recommends (along with doctors WallKrellParkBob Chapman [Rn] and others) ending his life with comfort care – and within hours of this “recommended death” your son wakes up and communicates with you – What would you do?
If you are strapped down to the hospital bed (arms and legs), intubated, heavily sedated, you vomit and a nurse isn’t around…what do you do? At what point does UW VMC Risk Management and the hospital legal staff review what has transpired with Mark (all the errors) and the risks and probabilities of Mark suing after his discharge (IF Mark was to live)?
VERY ALARMING: On Christmas day I have a conversation with Dr. William Park. He is concerned about the pseudomonas in Mark’s lung – pancreatitis is in control (it was not). I tell Dr. Park that Mark will fight the bacteria – the next day (under Dr. William Park’s command) Mark receives a drug called Dexamethasone (December 26 to January 7) which is contraindicated with the bacterial infections VMC gave Mark (MRSA, Enterobacter, Burkholderia and Pseudomonas). Dexamethasone and other meds caused the VMC bacteria to run rampant through Mark’s body (this is what happened to Mark's WBC levels while on this drug). This will haunt me for many years to come.Will you think twice (or even more) the next time you are hospitalized at VMC ~ or when one of your children or parents are?
In summary of what caused Mark to die - too many hospital errors…
Because of the poor decision making abilities, not following simple processes and total arrogance of the UW VMC Intensive Care Unit (ICU) doctors and staff the following occurred:
UW VMC misdiagnosed Mark having medication withdrawal from abruptly stopping his previous medications and told us he was septic. The VMC doctors did not contact Swedish or Northwest Kidney Centers (NWK) to document the correct drugs and doses Mark was taking prior to hospitalization. If UW VMC had completed this basic NECESSARY STEP medication withdrawal would not have occurred (“Delirium”), Mark would have not been given medications known to cause toxic interactions with MAO inhibitors (“Liver Shock and Failure”), Mark would not have been intubated, Mark would have never received the Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s), and Mark would be alive today.
The combinations of drugs given to Mark on those first days at UW VMC were deadly and gave Mark the toxic side effects the staff were noting in their Focus Notes (respiratory depression, decreased blood pressure – sepsis; flu like symptoms; confusion, agitated, combative, anxious – delirious; etc.). This toxic combination caused Mark to stop breathing.
UW VMC doctors were given the facts and data to prescribe the correct antibiotics needed to fight the bacteria VMC gave to Mark but the VMC doctors continually ignore recommendations presented to them (from the University of Washington [UW], from their own lab, one doctor (Dr. Michael Hori) is said to be “in charge of prescribing all drugs for Mark.” VMC pharmacy did not perform their job in questioning these medication decisions made by VMC doctors – the administration of antibiotics was literally a “shot gun” approach. There is no check and balance system at VMC.
Note: Dr. Mary J Vancleave mentions in Focus Note on November 21 that Mark should receive the antibiotic (and so does the UW) Ceftazidime – Mark finally receives his drug on January 12. Dr. Suzanne Krell is on duty and and order to discontinue this is written. On January 13 (per the bill) Mark receives another dose of Ceftazidime – again under Dr. Suzanne Krell’s duty someone discontinues it. Dr. Michael Hori finally prescribes this again on January 14 - the one drug that could have killed the Burkholderia VMC gave Mark and possibly saved him – under Dr. Wynne Chen’s duty someone again discontinues this antibiotic.
UW VMC doctors (Stefanie Nunez, Suzanne KrellWilliam ParkRichard WallMichael Hori, and the Pharmacy) were given the facts and data of Mark’s 2C9 inhibitor study (how your liver metabolizes medications) precautions but continually ignore this critical information and give Mark medications known to cause elevated liver enzymes (and damage/failure). UW VMC pharmacy and Gastrointestinal (GI) staff did not perform their job in questioning these medication decisions made by other VMC doctors - and this is their job.
5 VMC GI doctors were monitoring Mark (Christopher DiReEric YapDaniel O’NeillWilliam PearceDuane Carlson and Frank Thomas). Mark had documented gallstones on November 26 (which none of them read the report). Mark was given medications contraindicated with pancreatitis/gallstones and none of these doctors followed through or verified the records as these are not listed in their Focus Notes. Mark’s condition deteriorated because of their negligence.
Note: Dr. Carlson and Dr. O'Neill are no longer on the UW VMC list of GI’s; Dr. Thomas tries to discontinue a drug contraindicated with pancreatitis/gallstones – his orders are ignored.5 VMC GI doctors never treated the pancreatitis and potential disrupted ductDr. O’Neill recommends a transfer and consult with Virginia Mason GI for a stent and his orders are ignored. There was minimal pancreatic tissue noted at Mark’s autopsy.
We tried everything in our power to have Mark transferred to Swedish where all his doctors were located including pay out of pocket for the ambulance transfer. We discussed our concerns with the doctors about the errors and that we lost all confidence in the UW VMC doctors ability to care for Mark (this is dictation from Stefanie Nunez). We were told Swedish rejected the transfer. There is no record of whom Dr. Mary J Vancleave contacted at Swedish (in her Focus Notes); UW VMC say Vancleave was not and is not an employee of UW VMCSound Physicians says she is not longer employed there Swedish has no record of ever being contacted, she is now working for Swedish.
Of note: I personally called Swedish and discussed this with 2 people (the “Cap Rn” in Clinical Administration - Patricia (206-215-6656) and her supervisor Kathy Olsen (206-386-2529, pager 206-405-6653). Swedish is covering up the fact (per UW VMC) that they “didn’t want to get involved.”
To date, UW VMC has no idea which medications were administered to Mark. Based on my letter to UW VMC of an audit of only 3 medications (because the “Medication Administration Records [MAR]” differ from the “Detailed Hospital Bill” which differs from “Physician Orders”), "it may be the nurse did not give it for some reason or that the nurse did not remember to record it on the MAR.
As each of these doctors, that "were in charge," move on to other facilities I will update their links to where they are currently working so others will not be harmed - even if they move to other states.
This is only a few of the errors I discuss in Mark’s blog - please read on as all this can happen to you.