165,000 € for death of a patient at Erithros Stavros Hospital of Athens

The General Hospital, Corgialeneion-Benakio did not diagnose the stroke of an injured patient from a car accident, and neither took all appropriate measures necessary for the "heavy multi injured" during the transfer from hospital to hospital, and thus they were responsible for his death.
Thus, the State Council ordered the hospital to pay the disputed amount of 165,000 euros as financial satisfaction due to the suffering parents and brother of the unfortunate W.S. who in August 1997 was injured in car accident.
At the intersection of roads of 3rd September and Marne the W.S. driving his motorcycle collided with a passing taxi.
He was immediately transferred by an ambulance to the Hospital where the Corgialeneion CT scans showed that no brain problem existed.
In contrast, the tests showed the presence of fracture in a vertebra that cause paraplegia, a trauma at the nose, etc.
It also found a mild traumatic brain injury, while the patient had no loss of conscience and did not find hematoma in the brain.
The injured without being accompanied by a doctor moved to the in-axial tomography center «Egkefalos» in Halandri and underwent a CT.
Afterwards, without escort of a doctor, he returned to the Corgialeneion hospital, where it was decided to transfer the KAT (Accident Hospital in Marousi) to tackle the fracture of the spine.
Indeed with the Emergency Center (EKAB) ambulance, without the escort of an anesthesiologist, he was transferred to KAT
However, in a statement signed by the Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Athens he stated the following:
"The injured was brought in in comatose condition with double pupil dilation, unaccompanied by doctor and without intubation and was in comatose with labored breathing and double pupil dilation.
The radiological control detected explosive fracture dislocation T4, T5. He was intubated immediately by the anesthesiologist, and despite the efforts of the cardiologist and the Orthopedic the patient died despite efforts ".
Then the coroner's autopsy report notes: "the brain shows diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage" and as a cause of death stated: "thoracic spine Injuries as a result of a traffic accident".
The relatives went to court claiming that the death of their brother and child was not due to the injuries of the spine, but due to the diffuse subarachnoid bleeding for which physicians of hospital Korgialeneion were responsible.
That is because they did not take measures of early diagnosis and treatment, while they made consecutive transports to hospitals without taking appropriate measures of health care and patient support, such as tethering at the stretcher, fitting collar, an anesthesiologist physician escort, etc.
Indeed, the relatives provided a statement of a University Professor of Medicine who mentioned as a possible cause of death "the brain injury, despite the fractures of vertebra".
Preliminary ruling nominated two experts to clear up whether the cause of death was fractures in the spine or diffuse subarachnoid brain hemorrhage and if the injured person was allowed to move and under what circumstances.
According to experts the transfer to other hospitals should have been done with the necessary steps undertaken (mounting straps, etc.) and with the accompanying of an anesthetist doctor.
Also, they concurred that the cause of death was or diffuse subarachnoid brain hemorrhage and not the fractures in the spine.
The Athens Court of First Instance ruled that the cause of death was the diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage, which "doctors of the hospital were unable to diagnose and assess as essential to brain damage that the patient had undergone and is exemplified by the coroner's report, considered the second transfer to KAT, in order to cope with the injury of spinal columns by ignoring this way to investigate and deal with the most dangerous for the life-threatening cause (lethal diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage).
Indeed, it was deemed by the judges that the disputed hospital managers ' took improper measures during the transportation of the patient, i.e. cared for the immobilization of inside the ambulance, "and while" the patient showed symptoms of confusion allowed the move without the presence of a doctor-anesthetist, who had the power to prevent his death with intubation.
The accused hospital appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appellate court aligned with the Court of First Instance, judging that the diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage should have been diagnosed by the doctors of the hospital "by paying due diligence in conjunction with the particular circumstances of the case and had tried to deal with them before deciding to transfer the patient to KAT".
It also reiterated the oversight of the hospital not to accompany the patient by a doctor in the ambulance.

So it was that the doctors of the hospital "did not act as dictated by the founding rules of medical science and the imposition of a duty of care objectively and contributed to the death of the injured person".
The hospital also turned at the Council of State, which rejected as unfounded all the claims, upholding the Appellate decision.



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