Joan W. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Thomas Gresinger at NOVA on May 17, 1974. She alleged lack of informed consent.
Joan expelled a 10-week fetus on May 28, suffering "great mental anguish and psychological trauma." She brought the fetus to NOVA. There, Mi Yong Kim performed a D&C to remove additional tissue. During the procedure, she punctured Joan's uterus and intestine. Joan was transferred to Fairfax Hospital where Kim performed a complete abdominal hysterectomy without Joan's consent.
Gresinger, Joan said, had removed part of her uterus instead of removing the fetus, and Kim's care had only made matters worse. (Fairfax County Circuit Court Law No. 036717)
Since this was an old case, I checked online to see what else I could find. My first stop was the Virginia medical board. I learned that Kim had lost her privileges at Fairfax Hospital in 1999, and voluntarily surrendered her license in the state of New York in 2000. But despite that, Kim is listed as practicing at NOVA Healthcare in Fairfax, Virginia.
The first disciplinary document revealed this instance of malpractice:
On May 17, 1997, "Patient A," who I'll refer to as "Alana," went to Kim's office for an abortion. Alana told Kim that her last period had been at the end of March. Kim performed a pelvic exam and estimated Alana's pregnancy as 8 weeks. She dilated Alana's cervix and inserted a size 8 cannula. When the amniotic sac ruptured, Kim realized that there was too much amniotic fluid for an 8-week pregnancy. Kim did another examination and concluded that Alana was actually 24-26 weeks pregnant, and advised her to go to a hospital.
Alana went home to arrange for child care, arriving at Fairfax Hospital at about 4 p.m. Kim admitted her and then administered IV pitocin, augmented by prostaglandin gel.
A nurse suggested that Kim order a sonogram to verify gestational age, so Kim had a resident do the ultrasound. But Kim only instructed the resident to take biparietal diameter (BPD, a skull measurement), not to perform a full ultrasound scan. The resident performed the scan as instructed and from the BPD, estimated the pregnancy to be 26 weeks and 4 days. "Dr. Kim failed to reassess the management of the patient, and continued efforts to terminate the pregnancy. Further, Dr. Kim failed to involve the patient in any discussion as to continuation of care."
At about 8:00 the following evening, Alana had still not expelled the fetus. Kim performed a hysterotomy (the same as a c-section, only intending to deliver a dead fetus rather than a live infant), delivering a dead 990 gram fetus, consistent with the gestational age estimated by ultrasound. Kim didn't give specific information to Alana informing her of the gestational age of her fetus, or what procedures she was performing, nor the possible long-term effects of the procedures.
Fairfax Hospital was highly displeased with these events, and suspended her privileges. Kim also resigned her privileges at Fair Oaks Hospital. The medical board found that Kim provided no evidence that she had appropriately interviewed Alana, or performed a proper history or physical prior to beginning the abortion procedure. Kim's license was put on probation.
The second document revealed a sad, shocking surprise.
Another woman identified as "Patient A" (I'll call her "Adelle"), was 26 years old and had a history of anemia and sickle cell disease. Kim did not order proper lab studies, document an appropriate history, or perform a proper exam on Adelle before performing an abortion on her on November 16, 2002. Kim administered 25 mg of Versed to Adelle, in response to her reports of pain, over a 10-minute period, without giving the medicine time to take effect.
Kim told the medical board that she didn't give Adelle any analgesia for pain because she gives enough Versed to cause amnesia so that the patient can't remember the pain. The board noted that Kim lacked judgment and knowledge of intravenous conscious sedation and that she was not fit to supervise a CRNA.
At the end of the abortion, Kim noted that Adelle's pulse oximeter reading was only 70%, an alarming finding. Kim thought she found a pulse, didn't assess whether or not Adelle was breathing, and simply ordered her staff to give Adelle oxygen by mask and call 911.
Kim administered Romazicon to reverse the effects of the Versed, but did not notice that Adelle had gone into cardiac arrest. As such, Kim made no effort to resuscitate her. The ambulance crew arrived and transported Adelle to the hospital, where she was declared dead from possible air embolism.
The medical board noted that Kim was not certified in Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support, nor was she or anybody else on her staff qualified to perform an intubation or use crash cart equipment. Kim did not document the operative report for Adelle. Kim told the board that the police had told her not to make any further notes in her file.
The board did not suspend or yank Kim's license, instead noting that she was making improvements in her quality of care. She was instead placed under stipulations regarding her use of anesthesia in her office and her record-keeping.
I gave Adelle a page and adding her to the Cemetery of Choice. If anybody has any further information about this woman, please let me know.
For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:
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