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GRANTHAM v. GOETZ. (10/10/60)

October 10, 1960

GRANTHAM, APPELLANT,
v.
GOETZ.



Appeals, Nos. 172 and 173, Jan. T., 1960, from order and judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Jan. T., 1957, No. 109, in case of Walter Grantham v. William J. Goetz et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Donald F. Spang, with him Robert F. Shapiro, for appellant.

James W. Stoudt, with him Rhoda, Stoudt and Bradley, for appellee.

Mark C. McQuillen, with him Norman E. Dettra, Jr., for appellee.

Before Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 401 Pa. Page 350]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

This is an appeal from the refusal of the court below to remove a compulsory non-suit. The plaintiff alleged malpractice on the part of the two appellee-doctors in the course of treatment given the appellant while he was a patient in a hospital in Reading, Pennsylvania.

[ 401 Pa. Page 351]

The appellant suffered a severe chemical burn of the leg, as a result of the extravasation of a drug administered intravenously during the course of his treatment for severe shock. He charges the defendants with negligence, specifically, in failing to provide the attention and standard of care the circumstances required.

The appellant was brought into the emergency room of the hospital late in the afternoon of January 5, 1955. He was unconscious, critically ill with a very faint heart beat and very low blood pressure. He was hovering between life and death. He was given emergency treatment by the chief resident physician. Part of the treatment included the intravenous administration of a drug known as Levophed in a glucose solution. This drug is a blood vessel constrictor utilized to increase the blood pressure in cases of shock. About 5:45 p.m., he was removed to the men's medical ward and the same treatment was continued. He was also placed in an oxygen tent.

The appellee-Lloyd was an intern in the hospital, and he assumed charge of appellant's case upon the latter's arrival in the ward. He subjected the appellant to a thorough examination to determine, if possible, the cause of his condition. Dr. Lloyd remained on continuous duty until five o'clock the following afternoon, January 6th.

The original administration of the drug was into the arm of the patient but this was discontinued about midnight on January 5th, when the patient manifested a satisfactory response by regaining consciousness, normal pulse and blood pressure. About six o'clock the following morning, the patient's condition appeared to be deteriorating. He again lost consciousness and the ...


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