When being treated in the emergency room, most patients are there due to a medical emergency. And while they are often scared and unsure of exactly what is going on, most take comfort in being able to rely on doctors and medical staff to make the right decisions. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and medical malpractice does happen, which can lead to even more injury, or in some cases, even death.

The claim is a medical mistake led to the death of a 73-year-old man in 2008. According to reports, he had gone to the hospital with an upset stomach. While in the hospital, a nurse attempted to insert a gastric tube through his nasal passage. During the procedure, the patient ended up getting sick, inhaling the excrement into his lungs. This caused him to lose oxygen to his brain. He suffered brain damage and was not able to recover. He died five days later.

The jury who listened to the facts of this wrongful death case found the hospital was ultimately responsible for the man’s death. After hearing these facts, the jury awarded the family a $1 million award.

However, the case may not necessarily be coming to an end as the hospital plans on appealing.

Either way, when looking at what happened one has to wonder if proper procedures were being followed when the gastric tube was being inserted. Was the nurse properly trained to handle this procedure? Should another medical professional been assigned the task? What could have been done to prevent this man’s death?

In general, it’s very important for all hospital staff to follow safety procedures when implementing patient care. This is necessary to ensure that people are not injured when they are being treated in the hospital.

Source: ksn.com, “Hutch hospital attorney says appeal likely in suit,” Nov. 2, 2012