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Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Dr. Madan Roy, MD,FAAP,FRCP(C) Chief, Division of General Pediatrics McMaster Children’s Hospital Associate.

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Presentation on theme: "Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Dr. Madan Roy, MD,FAAP,FRCP(C) Chief, Division of General Pediatrics McMaster Children’s Hospital Associate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Dr. Madan Roy, MD,FAAP,FRCP(C) Chief, Division of General Pediatrics McMaster Children’s Hospital Associate Professor, Pediatrics McMaster University

2 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► Incident happened January 1998 ► Settled in court January 2007 ► 9 years later ► 40 days of hearings ► 8-10 experts

3 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Issue ► 14 month old Ryleigh Latin had a cough, high fever and prolonged seizure resulting in severe brain damage ► Could this have been prevented by more timely intervention i.e. triage at presentation to Emergency Department?

4 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Questions that need to be addressed: 1. What was the standard of care for triage in 1998? 2. Did the defendants, HSC Toronto, breach these standards? 3. Did such breach cause the damages that Ryleigh suffered?

5 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto PlaintiffsRyleigh Latin by way of her parents DefendantsHospital for Sick Children Toronto Specifically Margorie Williams, Triage Nurse and Virginia Wilkins, Charge Nurse (No actions against any of the MDs, even ER MD)

6 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► 14 month old healthy female ► High fever with episodes of “jerking” at home x 2 x ½ day ► Brought to ER, 1240 hrs ► Triaged as URGENT = CTAS 3

7 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto CTAS Canadian Triage and Assessment Score 1 ResuscitationImmediate 2 Emergent15 minutes 3 Urgent30 minutes 4 Semi-Urgent60 minutes 5 Non-Urgent120 minutes

8 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► Triaged as urgent – 1240 hrs ► Given Tylenol ► Directed to Registration ► Then waiting room

9 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► In waiting room “jerking movements” ► Back to triage nurse Stable ► Back to waiting room ► Classification not changed from urgent to emergent

10 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► 1400 hrs – in waiting room – generalized seizure ► Seizure control not obtained until 1535 hrs i.e. status epilepticus ► Subsequent brain damage severe

11 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Primary Objective of Triage: To assess patient needs and to make a professional judgment as to whether the needs are Emergent, Urgent or Non-Urgent

12 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Secondary Objectives of Triage: 1. To provide a quick, accurate patient assessment upon presenting for treatment 2. To provide initial accurate documentation on all patients 3. To co-ordinate with the Resource Nurse, the patient flow from the Triage/Waiting area to the available clinical treatment areas 4. To provide patients and relatives with a liaison with whom they can relate and ask questions 5. To provide First Aid to patients presenting for treatment

13 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto How is CTAS arrived at? ► ABC ► Not compromised ► More detailed assessment ► Respiratory rate, circulation, vital signs, temperature, O 2 sats, weight etc. ► CTAS designation given

14 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Allegations – Triage Nurse ► Did not obtain a complete set of vital signs ► Did not diagnose/suspect; dehydration, early shock, sepsis ► Did not detect Pneumonia ► Did not properly reassess her and treat her while in the waiting room ► Did not classify Ryleigh as Emergent

15 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Allegations – Charge Nurse ► There were available rooms for patients to be seen between 1240 hrs to 1400 hrs, but Ryleigh was not assigned to one of these rooms ► Permitted a stable patient, within the urgent category, to be seen before Ryleigh ► Permitted a non-urgent patient to be seen in priority to Ryleigh

16 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Findings – Triage Nurse ► Triage time – 3 to 5 minutes – average/appropriate ► Vital Signs – blood pressure was not done respiratory rate not done

17 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► What was the standard of Practice? ► If not the standard of practice, did her presentation require a full set of vital signs?

18 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto ► Hospital policy – blood pressure to be documented ► Standard practice – only done in triage if called for ► Blood pressure was not taken. Was this a breach in the provision of care?

19 Vital Signs ► Hospital Policy – Blood pressure to be documented at Triage ► Standard of Practice – only done in triage, if called for ► Decision – no breach in standard of care ► Current CTAS guidelines – BP is not included as a triage guideline

20 Vital Signs ► Respiratory Rate – not done as child was crying Rhythm Regular DepthAdequate Air EntryEqual QualityNo Difficulty OtherCough since December 29th

21 Vital Signs ► Respiratory Rate - evidence of respiratory distress as opposed to a documented respiratory rate

22 Pneumonia ► While in status, “RUL wet” was noted ► Why was this missed by the triage nurse? ► Child crying ► Likely aspiration secondary to going into status ► Mom did not report “difficulty breathing” as a concern at triage

23 Dehydration/Early Shock/Sepsis ► Time of last void ► Diaper wet or not ► Fluid intake ► Mental status ► Heart Rate 160/mt ► Temperature, 39.9 o C ► Warm, well perfused, mucus membranes moist, skin turgor normal

24 Dehydration/Early Shock/Sepsis ► Pulses – normal (not bounding/not weak) ► Heart rate 160/mt ► Temperature of 40 o C ► Findings expected, and not a sign of sepsis

25 Dehydration/Early Shock/Sepsis Conclusion re: Triage Assessment Adequate

26 Triage Classification PlaintiffIrritability, lack of response to Tylenol, legs jerking/stiffening, were reasons for Emergent (not urgent) Triage, on re- assessment

27 Triage Classification Defense 1- Irritability 14/12 with fever in ER is normal unless inconsolable 2- Fever in 14/12 not uncommon and does not warrant Emergent triage

28 Triage Classification ► Legs stiffening – seizures are only emergencies when they are actively occurring and there is imminent concern with respect to maintaining the airway ► Hospital guidelines – seizures within 12 hours would be triaged as Urgent not Emergent

29 Triage Classification ► No documentation of reassessment ► Court looked at her documentation of other charts on that day, her pervious assessments of Ryleigh ► Reasonable to infer, that an experienced nurse would have done ABC and come to the conclusion that triage category remained urgent

30 Conclusion Triage Nurse ► Met the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent triage nurse ► Should have documented the reassessment, but this does not amount to negligence

31 Charge Nurse ► There were available rooms for patients to be seen between 1240 hrs to 1400 hrs, but Ryleigh was not assigned to one of these rooms ► Permitted a stable patient, within the urgent category, to be seen before Ryleigh ► Permitted a non-urgent patient to be seen in priority to Ryleigh

32 Plaintiff: ► From 1240 to 1400 hrs there were 9 rooms available

33 Defense: ► Availability of rooms is only one factor ► Availability of nursing resources, physician resources, discharge planners, and patient service aides to clear rooms

34 Non urgent patients seen before urgent ► These take very little time and, often, while urgent patients are being worked up, these are quickly seen and sent ► Otherwise non-urgent patients would never be seen

35 Conclusion Charge nurse acted reasonably NOT GUILTY

36 Etiology of Seizure? ► Idiopathic status epilepticus? ► Shock? ► Viral Encephalitis?

37 Etiology of Seizure? Plaintiff ► Uncompensated shock ► Not adequately treated early enough ► Hypoxic-Ischemic ► Status Epileptics ► Brain damage

38 Etiology of Seizure? Judge ► On balance of evidence, I cannot come to the conclusion that there was HIE, due to shock/sepsis

39 Etiology of Seizure? ► Viral Encephalitis – influenza A culture positive, NPS from 21/1 on 26/01/98 ► Subsequent C/S negative i.e. 7 days after admission ► LP negative ► Serology Negative Judge – most likely diagnosis

40 Conclusion Judge: The action is dismissed

41 Take Home Points ► Court systems are fair, but arduous, prolonged, costly, time consuming, and a severe strain on the defendants

42 Take Home Points ► CTAS classification, if in ER ► Ability to justify what you did or did not do

43 Take Home Points ► No defendant had any actual recollection of the patient ► “If it is documented, it is done. If it is not documented it is not done”

44 Take Home Points ► We are our worst enemies ► There are always “Experts” who will take the plaintiffs side ► “No Fault” clause

45 Latin vs. Hospital for Sick Children Toronto Charge nurse guilty? YESNO


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