Kaiser Approved Meds Without Eval, Dad Says

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A Kaiser patient had a psychotic break and remains in a mental institution after a Kaiser doctor authorized medications without evaluating him, his father and guardian ad litem claims in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court.
     Sam Trinh says that on Feb. 7, 2012 his grown son, Christopher Trinh “suffered a psychotic episode in San Pablo, Calif., resulting in his arrest. On that date he pointed a gun at three different women, pulling the trigger in one instance, but the gun did not discharge while pointed at any person.”
     Prior to the episode Christopher had been taking four medications initially prescribed by a non-Kaiser physician, according to the complaint. Because he was a Kaiser member, Christopher had two of the prescriptions filled at Kaiser’s San Francisco facility, where Dr. Stewart Chiu Wong authorized them without examining him, the complaint says.
     Dr. Wong, “failed to use reasonable skill and care in the treatment of plaintiff,” and “negligently prescribed and/or failed to properly monitor plaintiff’s reactions to those medications and/or failed to adequately warn plaintiff of the possible side effects of the prescribed medications,” the complaint says.
     The Trinhs also sued The Amen Clinic and Dr. Todd Elwyn, who originally prescribed the medications – Pristiq, Concerta, Vyvanse and Brain and Memory Boost, “a proprietary product developed by Amen Clinics,” the complaint says.
     “Elwyn diagnosed plaintiff with Major Depression and unspecified Anxiety Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Elwyn failed to diagnose plaintiff as having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) even though plaintiff did in fact suffer from this condition,” the complaint says. “These drugs, or some of them, are contraindicated for [people] with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” according to the complaint.
     It was Nov. 16, 2011 that the Concerta was added to Christopher’s regimen, after he had complained his ADD symptoms were getting worse.
     From Nov. 22, 2011 until the day of his episode on Feb. 7, 2012, Christopher Trinh “was in frequent telephone contact with Amen Clinic and/or Elwyn complaining of worsening concentration problems, weird body odor, hyperactivity, increased procrastination, and argumentativeness with his father. On or about Dec. 16, 2011, Elwyn started plaintiff on a new prescription drug, Vyvanse, to try and address some of these side effects caused by the Concerta. On information and belief this prescription was filled at Kaiser in San Francisco without an examination of plaintiff or any confirmation as to the appropriateness of this medication for plaintiff,” according to the complaint.
     “As a result of the psychotic episode, plaintiff was charged with, and pled not guilty by reason of insanity, which plea was accepted by the court, to attempted murder with enhancements. Plaintiff continues to be confined at the Napa State Hospital in Napa, Calif.,” according to the complaint.
     Plaintiffs seek general and special damages, costs of suit and pre-judgment interest. They are represented by Paul J. Steiner of San Francisco.

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