Quadriplegic Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury When Ventilator Dislodges


Posted on 29th November 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

, , ,

Here’s a textbook lesson in how nurses should not care for a patient.

You have quadriplegic patient who is on a ventilator. His ventilator accidentally becomes disconnected, setting off a warning light at a nurses’ station. You don’t notice the flashing light, and for 24 minutes the man’s brain is deprived of oxygen. The patient suffers traumatic brain injury and develops a seizure disorder. You get sued.


That’s the case in hand.

The family of Robert Knowles has filed suit in Suffolk County Supreme Court against the Medford Multicare Center on Long Island, N.Y., over the March 21, 2009 incident, according to the New York Post. The state Attorney General’s office is also investigating the incident. 

Knowles, an ex-truck driver, broke his neck when he fell from a ladder on Dec. 30, 2007. But he did not let his paralysis daunt him. He got around using a wheelchair that he controlled using a strawlike device that he would blow into. But then Knowles was admited to the Medford facility, and his life took another sad turn. 

When Knowles’ ventilator got detached, it set off a blinking green light on a computer screen. But for 24 minutes, none of the medical staff noticed that the warning light was on. According to the Post, there is a video from a surveillance camera that shows medical staff  “fiddling around” as the light flashes.  

Not surprisingly, Medford officials didn’t return the Post’s phone calls seeking a comment.

No comments yet.

Leave a comment