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Sleep patient dies in hospital

Many people across Florida visit a sleep clinic when they have trouble sleeping. From snoring to sleep apnea to insomnia, clinics aim to treat these types of ailments so that people can get a good night's sleep. There are times, however, when an overnight stay in a clinic becomes a serious nightmare.

A mentally handicapped man died at a sleep center while video captured the whole event. More disturbingly, perhaps, was that no one did anything to stop it. Knowing that this fatal tragedy did not have to happen has prompted the man's family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent hospital.

According to reports, the man who was staying in the sleep clinic had several medical issues. He was very overweight and he suffered from a number of heart problems as well as diabetes and other ailments that made it dangerous to sleep on his back for extended periods of time. Because of these issues, he visited a hospital to participate in a routine sleep study.

During the course of the study, the man stopped breathing. No one intervened and the man died. As is the case with other sleep studies, the night was recorded on videotape. The details that appear on the tape have not been released, but the event has prompted lawmakers to take action.

Since the fatal study, a bill has been introduced in Georgia that would require CPR training for all staff members at a sleep clinic. Additionally, 24-hour surveillance would be required at all facilities as well.

According to the man's mother, her son did not just receive poor treatment. He received no treatment whatsoever. Because of this negligence, she has filed a lawsuit against the hospital and says that staff could have prevented the death of her son.

In cases when a loved one has died as a result of someone else's negligence, family members have a right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. While there is no amount of money that can replace a loved one, holding the responsible party liable can prevent the same thing from happening again. As in this case, it also may prompt legislative action that would make certain actions, or non-actions, illegal.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Brandon Harris, Atlanta Man, Dies During Videotaped Sleep Study," March 5, 2012

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