Woman Dies from Collapsing Operating Table: Who’s Liable?

Categories: Medical Lawsuits

operating room table

An operating room should be the safest place for a patient to be. Here, the patient is amongst professionals and experts, and the room is kept to a specific standard. Unfortunately, for one 70-year old woman, the operating room was a deadly place.

About the Case?

The 70-year old woman was in the middle of extensive open heart surgery when the operating table collapsed. Now, the case is being investigated by hospital executives and the coroner. While in surgery, the pensioner was jolted and the bypass machine was delayed.

The French-made table broke free of the hinge that secured it to the base, and it tipped forward to the floor. The hinge gave way without warning and the bottom end of the table slid forward to the floor, along with the patient.

The surgeon called for help and medical professionals were able to steady the table. Nurses and doctors had to scrub and then hold the table steady while the surgeon completed the procedure.

Three days after the surgery was done, the woman died. It has not yet been determined if the table was the cause of the death. However, the same hospital experienced a past situation where a surgeon was handed a dessert spoon during surgery, and used the spoon to help with a hip replacement.

In the past, there have been lawsuits for falls from surgical tables. Whether patients were dropped during the transfer from the bed to the surgical table or they fell from the table because they were not secured, it is more common than people may realize. While the outcome of a surgical procedure may vary, no one expects that the equipment in the surgical suite is what will contribute to an injury or death.

Who is Liable in This Case?

In this case, there are most likely going to be multiple liable parties. While no one has officially filed a lawsuit, because the woman’s cause of death is not yet determined, if her death resulted from delays or issues because of the table collapse, there will be someone liable.

The hospital could be held liable for not securing or inspecting the surgical tables. Also, the manufacturer of the table may be liable for a design or manufacturing defect that caused the collapse. If the surgical staff did not secure the table, they may be liable.

In the particular case, which occurred in the United Kingdom, the hospital was using tables that were no longer being produced by the manufacturer. However, it was not disclosed as to why the manufacturer was no longer making that surgical table. With the quick changes that occur in the medical field, the reasons for discontinuing manufacturing may have nothing to do with a defect or known issue. Instead, the table may have stopped production because an updated model replaced it.

Injured in a Surgical Procedure? Contact an Attorney.

When an injury occurs during surgery, patients have the right to hold hospitals, surgeons, medical staff, and manufacturers of medical equipment liable for their injuries. For your surgical injury, contact Van Sant Law, LLC now. Schedule a free consultation by calling 404-575-4955 or requesting more information online.