Woman dies after surgery, hours of pain; autopsy shows
(as told by her sister Betty Peacock)
My sister Shirley became sick on March 10, 1997. She was vomiting and
severe stomach cramps. The next day she had to leave her job as a
and go home. When her pain grew worse she went to the Kaiser Richmond
Room. She was transferred from there to Kaiser Oakland. We were told
had a gallstone. She was transferred to the intensive care unit where
was deemed critically ill. On March 22, 1997 she was moved to another
and on March 24, 1997, she was scheduled for surgery at Kaiser Oakland.
The family was planning a trip to Hawaii on April 10. The
us that Shirley would be okay and we should not cancel our trip. Our
Shirley's sisters, Shirley's son, his wife and their three year old
all went to the hospital to give Shirley courage and love. The surgery
lasted about four hours. We were told everything went okay.
Later that day when we saw Shirley she was complaining of a
lot of pain.
The doctor reassured us it was natural. Shirley kept complaining of
Her brother Danny kept insisting that the doctor be paged. The nurses
contact the doctor who told them to inform us that this was all
normal and not to worry.
The doctor did finally come to see Shirley, but it was the
morning. Shirley was still in pain and having trouble breathing. After
her vital signs were taken she was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit,
she was hooked up to life support systems.
The doctors told us that Shirley's condition was critical. She
infection and pancreatitis.
We prayed and prayed. Shirley, who was only 44, fought a long
to stay alive but was taken to our Lord on Easter Sunday morning. Why,
why, why if this was a simple surgery did my sister die.
Shirley was a valued teacher, wife, mother, daughter, grandma,
sister and friend. When I first asked the Kaiser doctors for an autopsy
and they told me there was no need as they knew why she had died, I had
to tearfully insist. When we read the autopsy we saw that Shirley's
had been perforated; Kaiser had never told us this.
Every day this month, CNA will release the story of
patient. For information, or to speak to the patient and/or family,
Gerard Brogan, RN, (415) 437-3328.
Index of Kaiser Casualty of the Day Reports:
to investigate heart problems, Patient receives pacemaker, appropriate
care only after family changes insurance companies (as told by Cheryl
wife of Bill Dunn)
after delays in care in Kaiser phone advice, clinics (as told by Terry
Preston, daughter of Margaret Utterback)
Staff shortages leave patient with little help in hospital
Kaiser refuses to authorize heart bypass surgery; patient faces $50,000
in medical bills as arbitration delayed over 4 years (as told by his
Patient dies after rapid hospital discharge following surgery; family
neglect, poor care in nursing facility
Long wait for referral to specialist, perforated ulcer not diagnosed,