Labor epidural lawsuit

  1. 0
    Hey all,

    Was wondering how your facilities are responding to this lawsuit. You probably all know about it by now, but in a synopsis:

    Husband in room for epidural has syncopal events > hits head and resulting brain injury results in his death > wife files suit against hospital (and I believe the anesthesia department, I only know the big picture of this event, if anyone can detail please do so)

    Its early and I haven't seen that much response with the exception of dialogue concerning this event.

    Any thoughts or changes in your facilities consent procedures (I.E. consent to observe/support)

    Thanks,
    Mike
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Well, the hospital where I had my son at had the fathers leave the room during epidural insertion. Only staff was allowed in for it. After it was done, they went and got him
  6. 0
    Quote from mwbeah
    Hey all,

    Was wondering how your facilities are responding to this lawsuit. You probably all know about it by now, but in a synopsis:

    Husband in room for epidural has syncopal events > hits head and resulting brain injury results in his death > wife files suit against hospital (and I believe the anesthesia department, I only know the big picture of this event, if anyone can detail please do so)

    Its early and I haven't seen that much response with the exception of dialogue concerning this event.

    Any thoughts or changes in your facilities consent procedures (I.E. consent to observe/support)

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect ... now there'll be a new standard in L&D prohibiting any family members from being present during any part of the birth experience so no one else gets sued. I feel for the mother, but COME ON!
  7. 0
    here is a link to the lawsuit

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8506245/
  8. 0
    most of the docs i work with have the father sit - and in front of the mother - not behind.
  9. 0
    We let 2 family members in at the time we are placing an epidural. When we place it I pretty much always tell people if they feel light headed to sit down in that spot immediately. I personally do not feel the law suit will go anywhere, I could be wrong but it could mean a change of standards for hospitals around the country.
  10. 0
    Quote from mwbeah
    Hey all,

    Was wondering how your facilities are responding to this lawsuit.
    Mike

    Our facility hasn't really responded to this lawsuit at all yet. (We're smaller facility with four full-time and one part-time CRNA's.) However, I became aware of this lawsuit couple days ago and have come to a few conclusions of my own. I haven't been doing anesthesia very long (about four years), but I've been doing it long enough to have seen a couple of fathers nearly faint at the sight of the epidural needle. Whether or not this is a frivolous lawsuit isn't really relevant to me at this point. I've decided on my own that I'm going to change my practice and not allow family members to hold patients while I insert the epidural. I won't shoo them out of the room (I will usually allow one or two family members to stay, no videotaping), but I think I will insist that they sit down and stay put while I put the epidural in. I had a conversation with my co-workers today, and I think they all feel the same way.

    Have you had any thoughts on this yet?

    Kevin McHugh
  11. 0
    This has caused me to question my own practice and we are in discussion amoung our group and with the OB dept. I usually let the father/significant other participate by sitting in front of and "holding" the mother during placement of the intrathecal/epidural. The advantage of this is twofold: (1) they can't see what you are doing, and (2) they are sitting so if they do go to ground they don't have as far to travel. I have had several "fathers" go to ground just seeing me open the tray, let alone placing the needle. It may be that this occurance will change the way we practice OB anesthesia from a risk management standpoint.
  12. 0
    Quote from kmchugh
    Mike

    Our facility hasn't really responded to this lawsuit at all yet. (We're smaller facility with four full-time and one part-time CRNA's.) However, I became aware of this lawsuit couple days ago and have come to a few conclusions of my own. I haven't been doing anesthesia very long (about four years), but I've been doing it long enough to have seen a couple of fathers nearly faint at the sight of the epidural needle. Whether or not this is a frivolous lawsuit isn't really relevant to me at this point. I've decided on my own that I'm going to change my practice and not allow family members to hold patients while I insert the epidural. I won't shoo them out of the room (I will usually allow one or two family members to stay, no videotaping), but I think I will insist that they sit down and stay put while I put the epidural in. I had a conversation with my co-workers today, and I think they all feel the same way.

    Have you had any thoughts on this yet?

    Kevin McHugh
    I already stress to the support person the potential for "falling out" but now I a seriously considering a measure similar to your thoughts. Even before this, I started documenting "support person understands potential for syncopal event and desires to remain in room" on the record. But I got a feeling if this winds up costing mega bucks that JCAHO may get involved with another type of consent form.

    Mike
  13. 0
    Mike I think that is probably a good idea to do. I will probably start doing the same myself.


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