No. 991 October Term, 1976, Appeal from the Order dated January 7, 1976, of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Civil Action, Law at No. 73-1048.
Andrew L. Braunfeld, Norristown, with him John C. Donlevie, Norristown, for original defendant.
Roger J. Harrington, Philadelphia, with him John J. O'Brien, West Chester, for appellee.
Paul C. VanDyke, Media, for additional defendant.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ.
[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 110]
This is an appeal from an order denying the appellant-original defendant Bryn Mawr Hospital's motion for judgment on the whole record and granting the appellee-additional defendant Olive Shreve's motion for judgment on the whole record. We do not reach three of the Hospital's allegations, finding them to be improperly raised at this point.*fn1 The Hospital's fourth contention, that the court below improperly granted appellee Olive Shreve's motion for judgment on the whole record, is meritorious. We therefore reverse only that portion of the lower court's order.
[ 250 Pa. Super. Page 111]
On April 24, 1972, the appellee, Kathleen Hogan, then 79 years of age, was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital and shortly thereafter underwent an operation for an intestinal obstruction. Mrs. Hogan was scheduled to be discharged from the Hospital on May 19, 1972. Sometime during the afternoon of May 18, 1972, however, she began to vomit, and her discharge was postponed pending the results of a series of gastrointestinal X-rays to be taken the following day.
Pursuant to the orders of Dr. Peltz, the surgeon who performed the intestinal operation, and at the request of Mrs. Hogan's daughter, Mrs. Kathleen Decker, Mrs. Hogan was attended by private duty nurses on a "round the clock" basis. When Mrs. Hogan's discharge was postponed, a new private duty nurse for the 7:00 a. m. to 3:00 p. m. shift on May 19, 1972, had to be retained because the nurse previously scheduled on that shift had been reassigned in anticipation of the patient's discharge.
The replacement was Mrs. Olive Shreve, R.N., a private duty nurse who had worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital for more than eighteen years. Mrs. Shreve was retained through the Hospital Registry, as were the other private duty nurses caring for Mrs. Hogan. At 6:50 a. m. on May 19, 1972, Mrs. Shreve reported for duty and was informed by the clerk in the Registry office that she had been assigned to Kathleen Hogan, who was located in room 374 on wing 3-c. Mrs. Shreve had no prior knowledge of whom her patient for that day was to be, and she had never before seen or heard of Mrs. Hogan. According to hospital rules, Mrs. Shreve then reported to Ann Gallagher, the head nurse on wing 3-c, who gave her the patient's voluminous chart. Mrs. Shreve commented that "it looks as though this lady has been here a long time." According to Mrs. Shreve's uncontradicted trial testimony, Ann Gallagher replied:
"Oh, she's fine. She should have gone home yesterday, but they held her over to take an X-ray . . . If the X-rays are alright, she will probably go home ...