Many say the best place to sustain an injury is in a hospital because then immediate care can be provided. However, it is unlikely these people would suggest that falling off an operating room table is a good thing.
For a man in Minnesota this is what happened. While undergoing a lumbar drain and unconscious from anesthesia, the man fell off the operating room table. Making matters worse, the man fell on his surgically exposed head. The surgeons did their best to repair the damage but the man subsequently suffered a stroke and died; events directly related to his fall.
Hospital officials say that the hospital was not equipped to handle the man because he weighed about three-hundred pounds. However, a lawsuit has been filed alleging that the surgical table’s Velcro straps were insufficient to prevent such an incident from occurring. The complaint alleges that hospitals routinely handle patients within this weight range and more adequate safety measures should have been taken.
In New York, if a patient falls off an operating room table while under anesthesia, we would claim "Res Ipsa Loquitor" which is a latin term that means "The thing speaks for itself." Where the patient was under the exclusive control of the hospital and their employees, it would not even be necessary to bring in a medical expert to explain to a jury why this was a departure from good and accepted practice. It's just common sense. Despite this, it still is often helpful to bring in a medical expert to help explain to the jury what injuries the patient suffered and why, as well as what would have happened if this medical error had not occurred.
To learn more about how these cases work, I encourage you to explore my website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, and I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected]. I welcome your call.