(03-06-2012 11:02 AM)Steven Wrote: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/health/F...0302-pm-pk
This is a sad story but it,s more than just being overweight. The patient was mentally handicapped and suffered from congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, diabetes and high blood pressure - conditions that made it risky for him to lie on his back for long periods.
ATLANTA - Grainy, black and white video camera designed to capture Brandon Harris' routine sleep study instead recorded the last few hours of the 25-year-old's life.
This video, given to FOX 5 by Harris' family, is now at the heart of a wrongful death lawsuit, and a new bill calling for tougher regulations of Georgia's sleep centers.
"We think that the people who his care was entrusted to should have acted quicker and they should have acted better to save his life,” said Sen. Vincent Fort.
Harris, who was mentally-handicapped, had been referred by his doctor to the Emory Sleep Center at Wesley Woods for a routine sleep study to determine if he had obstructive sleep apnea.
But his family says he was very overweight, and suffered from congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, diabetes and high blood pressure - conditions that made it risky for him to lie on his back for long periods.
About 4.5 hours into his sleep study, Harris began gesturing, which Fort says should have signaled to the sleep technologist he was in trouble.
"He said "Am I dying?" Brandon knew that he was in a situation that was life-threatening. They should have done more than just reassure him that he was okay. They should have done the things necessary to save his life,’” said Fort.
The proposed Brandon Harris Act would:
Require sleep centers have 24-hour staffing by a licensed sleep specialist or licensed professional nurse
Mandate basic CPR training/certification for sleep technologists
Place defibrillator in each room
Emory Healthcare would not comment on the bill because of the Harris family's pending lawsuit. But last year, Emory said Harris died of sudden cardiac death and called his care "appropriate" for his medical condition.
Renee Sunshine Lewis , Brandon Harris' mother, says his death could have been and should have been prevented.
"I hope through this legislation no other person, no other mother will have to hurt as bad as I have. And that Brandon's death will save other lives,” said Lewis.
On the 40 minute video, the sleep technologist does come eventually come and help Harris sit up, but Harris collapsed and died before he got to the ER.
Emory Healthcare said in a written statement last year that its sleep center has performed 15,000 sleep studies since the early 1990s and this is the first incident of its kind.