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? asked in Science & MathematicsMedicine · 2 months ago

What was the reason for removing this patient from life-support? Was it even legal?


The bulldozer operator was working brush into a large burn pile approximately 20-25 yards in diameter. At some point the bulldozer caught fire roughly 20 yards southwest of the burn pile in what the operator described as a fireball. Although the operator was severely burned, he managed to put the bulldozer in reverse, jump from the bulldozer, and make his way to his truck parked near the field entrance and drove himself over two miles to the field where he knew the property owner’s son was working. The victim was severely burned (65% full-thickness circumferential burn to the victim’s

upper body, arms, and head) and likely in shock, and provided no further information about the event. The local 911 dispatcher could not locate the reported rural address in her computer system, so the property owner drove the victim to the local hospital. The victim was sedated and intubated, and transferred by helicopter to a level 1 burn treatment center, approximately 60 miles away, arriving at approximately 2000. The following morning, the attending physician met with the victim’s family to inform them that the extent and severity of the victim’s injuries were not survivable. Life support was removed and the victim was placed on comfort care. He died the following afternoon (two days after the incident).

What was the reason of removing this patient from life support? Since he was not brain dead, was it even legal?

6 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    We don't know the details of his injuries. Unless there was infection, or something else specific, there's no way to know. Perhaps he was having organ failure? 

  • Zirp
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Because keeping him alive would have only prolonged his suffering.

    Burns are quite painful

  • Sparky
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Keeping him on life support would not have prolonged life, it would only have prolonged death.

    Even if initially survivable, the aftercare and surgery would not be, and burns are extremely susceptible to infection.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The injuries were not survivable.  He was put on comfort care so he could pass away relatively pain free.

    Yes, it is legal.

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  • 2 months ago

    Baux score ( age + total burn surface area + 17).  If more than 140 there is little to no hope for survival.

  • 2 months ago

    Of course its legal to remove life support with the family's support and discussion in some one with a non-survivable injury. There are NO laws that state you have to keep someone on life support indefinitely. Non survivable if the key here, and burn injuries that significant are really horrendous.

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