Police have arrested the Colorado plastic surgeon and nurse anesthetist who were involved in the botched breast augmentation that led to the death of teen patient Emmalyn Nguyen.
Surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Kim has been charged with reckless manslaughter and first-degree aggravated assault, both felonies. Nurse anesthetist Rex Meeker was also charged with reckless manslaughter.
Dr. Kim performed breast augmentation surgery on the teenager at Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery in August 2019, but she went into cardiac arrest after being administered anesthesia. She fell into a coma and died 14 months later.
Kim and Meeker allegedly left Nguyen “unobserved” for 15 minutes after putting her under anesthesia during her procedure, which her parents said is contrary to medical best practices, according to the negligence lawsuit filed by Nguyen’s parents in 2019.
During their absence something went wrong with the anesthesia, the lawsuit says, and she was found with her lips and face turned blue, with the discoloration spreading across her body. Nguyen suffered cardiac arrest twice and had to be resuscitated, the lawsuit stated. Doctors waited five hours to call 911, the suit alleged.
As a result of the incident, Nguyen was left in “in a permanent ‘semi-conscious state’” from her brain injury and required round-the clock care, including a permanent feeding tube, the lawsuit said, before her death.
In a statement released this week through their lawyer, the Nguyen family said: “We are glad we’re finally getting justice for Emmalyn, even though it will never bring our daughter back. At least this will help others from getting hurt or from ruining other families’ lives.”
“We still haven’t been able to get closure from this, and hopefully the criminal charges will help bring out the full truth and help us accomplish justice for Emmalyn.”
Prior to the criminal charges, Dr. Kim had already reached an agreement with state regulators admitting to “unprofessional conduct,” the local CBS
station reported last year, he was given three years of probation but allowed to practice medicine with certain restrictions.
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