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W.Va. hospital replacing lift chairs due to death

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) — Three hundred lift chairs at United Hospital Center are being replaced following the death of one patient and the injury of another.

President Bruce Carter tells The Exponent Telegram that hospital officials determined the chairs are a safety risk.

Carter says the fatal accident occurred several months ago. The patient was confused and accidentally hit the lift-activation button. The patient then slipped out of the chair as it was lifting and suffered a fatal injury.

The other patient suffered minor injuries.

Carter says he believes the accident resulted from a design flaw.

He says frail, confused or overweight patients could easily press the activation button by accident because it’s located on the chair’s arm.

The hospital is spending $400,000 to buy recliner chairs that don’t have the lift feature.

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