SPRINGFIELD, VT — A nurse is suing Springfield Hospital in Vermont in an effort to get his job back and receive compensation for lost wages, alleging his former employer retaliated against him after he voiced concerns over alleged malpractice in the hospital’s anesthesiology department.
Plaintiff Stephen Green, CRNA, claims that Springfield Hospital violated Vermont’s whistleblower protection law, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees when they disclose or threaten to disclose activities, policies, practices, procedures, actions, or failures to act of the employer that the employee believes constitutes “improper quality of patient care.”
Mr. Green, who began working at Springfield Hospital in 2006, alleges that from 2007 to 2012 he witnessed numerous incidents of “unsafe practices in the anesthesiology department” that put patients’ lives at risk. For instance, one doctor allowed a surgery to go forward on a child who had not fasted before the procedure, as required by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The standard boosts the effectiveness of anesthesiology and reduces the risk of complications.
Additionally, Mr. Green says that many of the same doctor’s patents were “barely breathing” when they were brought to recovery after surgery and often required “airway interventions.”
Other accusations include doctors doing income taxes and taking personal phone calls while patients were under general anesthesia, failure to properly monitor anesthetized patients, and falsifying patient records.
Mr. Green claims that the hospital failed to investigate any of his complaints about patient care, and that one of the doctors he reported became hostile toward him. He said that the hospital paid him the lowest pay of all anesthesia providers and fired him ostensibly “as a cost-saving measure.”
He alleges the hospital then emailed staff to inform them of a shortage of anesthesiologists for emergencies. He also claims that Springfield Hospital withheld that information from patients, and even advised obstetrics providers to perform emergency cesarean sections with local anesthesia only, prompting one obstetrics provider to resign.
Mr. Green’s civil lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, where all civil suits seeking more than $75,000 in compensation are tried.