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Friday, February 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Paralyzed Man Blames Kaiser for Head Bleed

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Kaiser staff let a man's subdural bleed continue untreated for four hours, leaving him paralyzed, he claims in Multnomah County Court.

Scott Nagel sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest and Northwest Permanente, P.C., for medical malpractice. His wife, Holly Nagel, sued for loss of consortium.

The Nagels claim Holly called a Kaiser advice nurse on Feb. 15, 2013 and reported that Scott "was complaining of sudden, severe headache pain and excessive vomiting. Plaintiff Holly Nagel further informed the advice nurse that plaintiff Scott Nagel had recently been hospitalized for bacterial meningitis, and was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis and was placed on blood thinners."

A little over an hour later, "Scott Nagel presented to Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center on the advice of the telephone triage [nurse], and was placed in the general waiting room. Between 6:49 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., no physician evaluated plaintiff Scott Nagel, despite abnormal laboratory findings and abnormal vital signs. At approximately 11:00 p.m., plaintiff Scott Nagel fell unconscious and his heart rate rose to a dangerous level. He was taken for a head CT scan and found to have been suffering from a subdural hematoma," the complaint states. (Brackets added.)

The Nagels claim Kaiser should have done a better job of monitoring and following up on Scott Nagel's anticoagulant use, ordered a head CT scan or other head radiology study sooner, monitored his status better at the hospital that night, informed emergency room doctors of his abnormal lab results, vital signs, and other nursing evaluations sooner and involved specialists sooner.

Because Kaiser did not do those things, "Scott Nagel's subdural bleed was allowed to continue for more than four hours and progressed into a far more harmful and potentially deadly hemorrhagic stroke," the complaint states. "He suffered the pain, paralysis and cognitive deficits as a result of the progression of the subdural bleed and is permanently disabled and will continue to require physical therapy, cognitive therapy and rehabilitation," it continues.

Scott Nagel seeks $912,300 in economic damages and $3 million in non-economic damages. Holly Nagel seeks $5 million in non-economic damages. They are represented by Gregory Kafoury, Mark McDougal and Jason Kafoury of Kafoury & McDougal in Portland.

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