ECT: patient burned, cause disputed.

Position:Electro-convulsive therapy - Brief article

The Court of Appeals of Ohio ruled the local county court judge erroneously rushed to judgment that the patient's caregivers were not at fault. The Court reinstated the patient's lawsuit.

The patient got second- and third-degree facial burns from a fire that started just as current was activated through the electrodes attached to her head for electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).

The nurse testified the flames started at the electrode at the side of her head and were fueled by maximum-flow O2 from a wall port leaking from her mask.

The patient's medical expert traced the flames to a spark arching from one electrode to the other due to flammable hairspray or face cream or antiseptic used to clean and prep the skin for the electrodes, with the [O.sub.2] vigorously contributing to the fire once it started.

The patient's expert was equivocal, however, when it came to assigning blame. He admitted he could not say if the patient's...

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