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B.C. hospital being sued after patient allegedly bites woman's thumb off, swallows it

A woman who went in for hip surgery at VGH in 2020 is claiming another patient stormed into her room, bit off her thumb and swallowed it.
Vancouver General Hospital is among defendants in a lawsuit where a woman claims another patient bit off and swallowed her thumb.

A woman who claims her thumb was bitten off and then swallowed at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) is suing her alleged attacker, the hospital, a security firm and doctors.

Anupama Govardhan Bhakthan was admitted to VGH for right-hip surgery on April 4, 2020, according to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 18.

The next day, according to court documents, Kyle Healy Schreiner attacked security guards, including biting and grabbing at one guard’s head. He was restrained and appeared psychotic, the suit said.

Then, on April 8, the claim said, Schreiner’s restraints were removed; he allegedly attacked a nurse and a security guard.

Bhakthan then claims Schreiner entered her room where she was recovering from surgery, “biting off and swallowing her right thumb and further attacking her, which included grabbing her face, eye and right arm.”

Bhakthan said she sustained serious eye and face damage and the amputation of her thumb.

The suit names Schreiner, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, VGH, Paladin Security Group and 10 unknowns as the defendants.

Five unknowns named Jane Doe are alleged by Bhakthan to be Paladin employees. Five John Does are alleged to be VGH physicians.

Bhakthan is claiming negligence and is seeking multiple forms of damages.

She alleges “Schreiner was negligent by allowing hospital staff to remove his restraints when he knew or ought to have known that he was a danger to others.”

The allegations have yet to be proven in court.

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