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Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Secure Judgment as a Matter of Law after Five Day Trial for Hospital and Three ICU Nurses

Randy Sellers and Chris Eagan recently secured a Judgment as a Matter of Law for a hospital and three ICU nurses in a case involving an internally dislodged tracheostomy tube that resulted in a severe brain injury to the patient. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his chest and lungs as a result of a farming accident. A tracheostomy tube was placed to assist  the patient's breathing. Eight days later, while being turned for a bath, the tracheostomy tube became dislodged into the subcutaneous space outside of the trachea. Oxygen saturations dropped a few minutes after the turn. The plaintiff claimed the nurses should have assessed the patient's breath sounds by auscultation after the turn which would have allegedly told them the tube was dislodged and resulted in earlier  airway  reestablishment  and lessened the brain injury. The hospital established that listening to breath sounds would not have been helpful after the turn because the patient  already had poor breath sounds due to his  original injury and he was stable until his oxygen saturations dropped. The hospital also proved that listening to breath sounds would not have prevented or lessened the brain injury to an extent that could reasonably be determined by a jury. At the close of the evidence, the trial judge granted a Motion as a Matter of Law for all the defendants.



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