(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)
X. LIABILITY OF ABC HOSPITAL
The nursing staff at ABC HOSPITAL failed to summon the appropriate care for William Smith as he descended into quadriplegia on their ward and under their care.
A. STANDARD OF CARE: CALL A DOCTOR
ABC Hospital’s nurses admit they are trained to call a doctor when they note a significant change in condition:
Nurse Paul White on page 41, line 24 through page 42, line 4:
“Q. What have you been trained – – have you ever had any training on what to do if a patient was ambulatory and then suddenly became paralyzed?
Q. What did your training tell you to do?
A. We have to notify the doctor.”
Nurse Black on page 17, lines 3 through 10:
“MR. COLLINS: Q. Sir, do you recognize the phrase “change of condition.”
A. Yes, I do. Of course, there’s a big change in condition and smaller changes in condition, but yes, I do.
Q. In fact, you’re trained to call the doctor if there’s a significant change in condition, right?
A. That I am, yes.”
Nurse Black admitted the change in condition of plaintiff on March 25, 2002, looked like the onset of paralysis:
Page 17, line 11 through page 18, line 12:
“Q. Okay. Now if you can compare the assessment done on the night to the assessment you did on the day at 0810, was there a change of condition?
A. That’s correct, there are.
Q. In fact, it was a significant change of condition.
THE WITNESS: I’m having trouble – – oh, okay. On the neuro, yes, it is. She writes that he moves extremities, which would mean that he moved all of his extremities.
MR. COLLINS: Q. And you wrote he couldn’t move his lower – – in other words, your assessment was he couldn’t move his lower extremities?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And that’s a very significant change in condition.
A. Am I correct, sir, that’s a very significant change?
Q. It looks like an onset of paralysis, true?
Nurse Black also admitted he was trained to call a doctor right away to try an intervention that might help the patient. Page 25, lines 2 through 16:
“Q. Okay. Have you been trained to do something when you note a patient with the onset of paralysis?
A. If I recognized the onset of paralysis I should call the doctor.
A. To see if the doctor can provide an intervention that would impede the paralysis or even stop the paralysis.
Q. Okay. Is that something – – have you been trained you should call the doctor at your leisure or immediately?
A. Right away.
Q. Why right away?
A. The sooner you intervene in a process like that the better chance the patient has to recover.” (See Part 15 of 23.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.