Colorado physician sentenced in patient death

On Nov. 16, a judge sentenced Geoffrey Kim, MD, a plastic surgeon in Colorado, to 15 days in jail and two years of supervised probation for his role in the death of a patient after a procedure in 2019, according to a report from NBC affiliate KUSA

In June, Dr. Kim was found guilty of attempted reckless manslaughter and obstruction of telephone service. In August of 2019, 18-year-old Emmalyn Nguyen lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest after receiving anesthesia for a procedure at Dr. Kim's outpatient surgery center in Greenwood Village. She slipped into a coma that lasted 14 months and died in October 2020.  

Dr. Kim performed CPR to resuscitate the patient's heartbeat, though, according to evidence presented by prosecutors, he instructed staff not to immediately call 911. Five hours later, he agreed to have Rex Meeker, the nurse anesthetist who administered the anesthesia, call 911. Mr. Meeker originally faced charges in the patient's death, which have since been dismissed, though he did agree to surrender his license in December 2021. 

Dr. Kim had faced three years in prison. When issuing the sentencing, District Judge Michelle Jones said she believed he is unlikely to reoffend in the future and that he recognized the mistakes he made. He was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and to complete 120 hours of public service in a long-term care facility for those who have suffered brain injuries. 

The Colorado Medical Board suspended Dr. Kim's license hours after the sentencing.

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