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Defibrillator Fire Kills Patient

TriStar Centennial Medical Center based in Nashville, Tennesse is reviewing an incident in which a fire erupted as staff members were using a defibrillator on a patient who later died, ABC affiliate WKRN reported November 28, 2022.

Defibrillators are devices that send an electric pulse or shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. They are used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia, an uneven heartbeat that is too slow or too fast. If the heart suddenly stops, defibrillators can also help it beat again.

Staff members were using the defibrillator in an attempt to revive the patient, Bobby Ray Stark, who had coded.

“Then they started the paddles, and it just blew up, everything,” his wife, Kathy Stark, told WKRN. “He got burned in the throat, the face, the head, the chest and his hands.”

Mr. Stark was taken to the hospital’s burn unit for treatment, where he died.

“While we cannot discuss specifics, we are reviewing the care provided to the patient and the functionality of equipment,” a spokesperson for TriStar Centennial, which is part of Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, told Becker’s. “The death of a loved one is always very difficult, and our hearts go out to this family.”

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