Bariatric Care: Jury Finds Patient Died as a Result of Fall from Operating Table

April 1, 2012 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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A Ramsey County District Court judge found a Minnesota hospital liable for the wrongful death of a man who rolled off an operating table before surgery to implant a lumbar drain, and the jury awarded $225,000 in damages.

After suffering a stroke, the patient underwent several surgeries, including one in which part of his skull was removed. His family alleged that when the man fell from the operating table, he hit the side of his head where part of his skull had been removed. They claimed that the hospital never explained the reason for the fall and alleged that the hospital did not have the appropriate facilities and equipment (e.g., wide tables, proper restraints) to accommodate the patient, who weighed 330 pounds. After the fall, staff treated the patient for "acute, significant bleeding," after which they ordered a computed tomography scan. His condition worsened, and he fell into a coma from which he never regained consciousness. He died after being...

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