Image of a team of doctors performing surgery

Failure of nursing staff to take seizure precautions

The Gresson Case

Mrs. Gresson had a history of epilepsy. She was admitted for rotator cuff shoulder surgery. The admitting record and out patient surgical chart noted that she was an epileptic with a recent grand mal seizure. For reasons unrelated to the case, the surgeon elected to admit her overnight for observation. The out-patient surgery center failed to communicate the history of recent seizures to the floor nurses upon admission. The floor nurses failed to take standard seizure precautions which would have included padding the bed rails. Mrs. Gresson suffered two grand mal seizures the next morning during which she dislocated and fractured her good shoulder upon impact or entanglement with the uncovered bed rails. She also suffered a partial impairment of the nerve passing through the shoulder. She required home health nurses for several months as both of her shoulders were immobilized—-one for the original rotator cuff surgery and the other due to the shoulder fracture and dislocation. She was unable to return to her old employment due to the shoulder fracture and limitations. She fully recovered from the rotator cuff surgery.

Plaintiff’s filed suit for the failure of the out-patient nursing staff to communicate the need for seizure precautions to the floor nurses.

The case settled after the close of Plaintiff’s case in chief with the defendant hospital putting on no witnesses.