WICHITA – In U.S. Federal Court in Wichita Wednesday, a jury returned a verdict against Promise Regional Medical Center (now known as Hutchinson Regional Hospital) for the 2008 wrongful death of Great Bend resident Jackie L. Sarff.
According to a news release from Warner Law Offices in Wichita, Sarff was a patient at Promise Regional in August of 2008 when a licensed practical nurse attempted to insert a nasal gastric tube into Sarff, causing him to vomit and inhale the vomit into his lungs. This, this led to brain damage and his death five days later on Aug. 12.
Represented by Thomas Warner, the plaintiffs, Bonnie Sarff, widow of Sarff who still lives in Great Bend, and Susan Baker, the adult child of the Sarffs, alleged Promise Regional Medical Center did not follow its own policies and procedures or the Kansas Nursing Regulations when it allowed an unqualified and unsupervised LPN to perform the tube procedure.
It was established at trial that the placement of an NG tube carried the risk of vomiting, aspiration and death if not performed correctly or if the vomit is not quickly removed from a patient’s airway with suction equipment, the release said. The jury concluded the hospital nurses did not follow the patient safety rules associated with this procedure which caused the death of Sarff.
Warner said the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $1,086,994.60 in damages. There was no pretrial offer of settlement.
Randy Troutt of Hite, Fanning in Wichita was the attorney for Promise Regional Medical Center. “We disagree with the jury’s verdict,” Troutt said, adding they will file the appropriate paper to appeal the verdict.
Since one of the plaintiffs, Susan Baker, lived out of state, Warner said he had the option of filing in district court, which would have been in Reno County, or in federal court, which was in Wichita. He felt there would be no “hometown bias” in Wichita.