DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Medical Board has issued a summary suspension of the medical license of Dr. Geoffrey Kim. They accuse him of failing to transport a patient from his office to a hospital for nearly six hours after she suffered cardiac arrest during a breast augmentation procedure last summer.
A nurse anesthetist in the same case, Rex Meeker, has voluntarily agreed to temporarily stop practicing as the state nursing board investigates the troubling case.
Emmalyn Nguyen, 18, decided to have Kim perform a breast augmentation on her last August. In a lawsuit filed in December, Nguyen’s family maintained that their daughter twice suffered cardiac arrest during the procedure, which was performed at Kim’s Greenwood Village office, but that 911 was not called for nearly six hours.
In the Jan. 9 suspension order for Kim obtained by CBS4, the medical board called the suspension an “emergency action.” The board reported that “Despite requests by other healthcare providers present in the operating room, Respondent (Kim) failed to contact emergency personnel to transport the patient to the hospital for nearly six hours.”
After a hearing earlier this month, the board said there were “reasonable grounds to believe that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and/or that Respondent was guilty of a deliberate and willful violation of the Medical Practice Act.”
Kim had no previous disciplinary actions taken against his license.
Nguyen suffered severe brain damage and remains in a minimally conscious state, unable to speak, walk, eat or take care of herself. She will likely remain this way for the rest of her life according to her family and their attorney.
The teen’s mother, Lynn Fam, told CBS4 she learned of the Kim suspension last Friday.
“It’s a good thing,” she told CBS4. “Now he is not able to do this to any other patients.”
Kim’s lawyer previously told CBS4, ”As a physician, Dr. Kim is not at liberty to comment about any specific patient”.
Additionally, Rex Meeker, the nurse anesthetist in the case, has reached an agreement with the state board of nursing to temporarily stop practicing as the case is being investigated.
According to a non-disciplinary agreement Meeker reached with the nursing board, “As an Advance Practice Nurse, Respondent(Meeker) had the responsibility to timely contact emergency services and refer (Nguyen) to a hospital. The Board reviewed information that anesthetic doses may have been inappropriate under the circumstances. (Nguyen) suffered an adverse outcome from the drugs administered.”
Although Meeker has denied doing anything wrong, he agreed to stop working as a nurse while the issues in the Nguyen case are investigated. The agreement took effect Jan. 2.