Patient Dies after Search for Videolaryngoscope during Code Blue; Defense Verdict Affirmed

October 20, 2021 | Strategic Insights for Health System


A hospital patient who had undergone a thyroidectomy developed a surgical site hematoma and stopped breathing. A code blue was called, but it took several minutes to locate a videolaryngoscope; the patient died the next day. In a lawsuit against the hospital and several healthcare providers, the Court of Appeals of Georgia has affirmed a defense verdict.

After the patient underwent a thyroidectomy, he was discharged to the hospital's medical/surgical floor. The surgical site on his neck developed a massive hematoma, posing a risk of blocking the patient's airway. About an hour later, a family physician saw the patient while on her daily rounds. Just before the physician entered the room, a nurse told the physician that the patient had reported choking and had high blood pressure. The physician determined that the patient...

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