Ohio man blames WVU Hospitals after he fell off operating table

MORGANTOWN -- A Bethesda, Ohio, man and his wife are suing West Virginia University Hospitals, Inc., after they claim it was negligent in allowing him to fall off an operating table and become injured.

Dr. Donald M. Whiting was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Whiting conducted an evaluation of Gregory Wise to assess his need for a spinal cord stimulator and on Aug. 3, 2010, Wise presented to WVU Hospitals to undergo a surgical procedure for the implantation of the spinal cord stimulator, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Wise claims upon being taken to the operating room, he received a spinal epidural block and was “placed in the prone position on pillows with the arms resting on the arm boards and a buttock strap placed across the buttock area.”

Upon the operative procedure commencing, Wise began to experience discomfort and it was determined that additional sedation was necessary with “propotol by anesthesia”, according to the suit.

Wise claims he had an open incision and the a self-retaining retractor was placed within the wound, at which point an x-ray was called for an AP x-ray.

Just prior to the x-ray being taken, Wise “spontaneously rolled off the table onto his back” breaking through the retaining strap, according to the suit.

Wise claims the defendants were negligent by allowing him to fall off the operating room table with an open wound and landing on the floor.

The defendants’ actions caused Wise to undergo several tests and procedures in an attempt to limit the risk of infection after being allowed to fall from the surgical table, according to the suit.

Wise claims he also had to undergo a second surgery on Oct. 29, 2010, to carry out the implant of the spinal cord stimulator device since it could not be implanted on Aug. 3, 2010.

As a result of the defendants’ negligence, Wise suffered unnecessary physical injury, sorrow and mental anguish, according to the suit.

Wise and his wife, Debra Wise, are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Teresa C. Toriseva.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C673

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