Hospital Cuts Off Patient’s Ventilator in Error and Patient Dies; Hospital Settles

An 88-year old man was admitted to the hospital with respiratory compromise. The patient required respiratory support and was placed on a ventilator. In order for the patient to receive diagnostic testing at the hospital, the patient’s ventilator was placed in “stand by” mode, during which the ventilator was not providing oxygen. When the patient returned from the diagnostic testing, hospital staff did not take the patient’s ventilator out of “stand by” mode for about 15 minutes. Hospital staff later noticed the patient's oxygen level was desaturating, and CPR had to be initiated. The patient was resuscitated but sustained an anoxic brain injury due to oxygen deprivation. The anoxic brain injury caused the patient’s death two days later. The patient’s family made a claim against the hospital, which was settled for a confidential amount before a lawsuit was ever filed.

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