Toddler crushed to death by the same chiropractic table his mother was strapped to as she screamed for help
Last updated at 1:44 PM on 11th June 2011
A toddler has been crushed to death by a medical table in a chiropractor's office while his mother was strapped to it screaming for help.
The mother and her 18-month-old son were at First Chiropractic in Shoreview, Ramsey County, Minnesota, when the staff left them unattended.
Benjamin Bryan Newton crawled under the electrical spine therapy table and accidentally pushed a button which brought it down on top of him.
A stock image of the Triton DTS TRT-600 chiropractic machine which crushed Benjamin Bryan Newton to death
Amy Elizabeth Newton, 27, of Moundsview,
screamed for help but by the time clinic employees rushed to the room, raised the
table and began CPR on the boy, it was too late.
The child suffered head trauma and was taken to the Region's Hospital by paramedics. He was pronounced dead less than an hour after the incident occurred.
Two of her other children, also under the age of four, were also in the room.
Sheriff's spokesman Randy Gustafson said that they are viewing this incident as 'a tragic accident and does not anticipate any criminal charges' at this time.
He said that when Benjamin became caught, 'she screamed to get the attention of the staff there, who came in', Mr Gustafson said.
One leading chiropractic educator told the Star Tribune that her school's students are taught that a doctor or other clinic employee does not need to be with the patient during the entire time of treatment on this table or similar medical devices.
Tragedy: The toddler was crushed to death as his mother screamed for help at First Chiropractic in Shoreview, Minnesota
College of Chiropractic Dean Renee DeVries said: 'It's completely appropriate to leave the patient unattended for the time of treatment on a traction machine or other moving machines.
'People don't have to stand there and watch the machine move back and forth.'
Mr Gustafson said the mother had received care at the clinic several times before Thursday's incident. He said the initial investigation found that clinic employees do not always remain in the treatment room.
'This is kind of like standard operating procedure,' he said. 'It wasn't that out of the ordinary to leave people unattended for a few moments.'
He added: 'In hindsight, you go, it's got red flags everywhere.'
The clinic's doctor is Lowell Magelssen. He is licensed by the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The board's website lists no disciplinary action against him.
Mr Gustafson identified the equipment as a Triton DTS TRT-600, which weighs about 300 pounds.
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God it must have been heartbreaking for her knowing her child was trapped underneath, but who in gods name with an once of common sense would leave a room knowing there are small children playing around and the mother unable to do any supervision strapped to a table.
- Barbara , Sheffield south Yorkshire, 11/6/2011 18:42
Ok, it was an tragic accident but one that should never happen again. In future, NO kids allowed in these rooms.
- anon, london, 11/6/2011 17:53
What happened to common sense here? Three little kids in the room, and the mother is strapped to a table, unable to help them if something happens. Mindboggling.
- Maxwell Silverhammer, somewhere, 11/6/2011 17:17
Oh my God....that must have been a nightmare for everyone there, especially the poor Mother :( RIP little one....
- JB, London, 11/6/2011 16:58
Clinic staff are not there to baby-sit. Patients should either leave their children at home with a caregiver, or bring someone to the appointment to watch their children while the parent receives treatment.
- Everard, Ontario, Canada, 11/6/2011 15:43
I think the appropriate response will be to ban children from accompanying adults into treatment rooms. This was a terrible tragedy but surely the company does not have a responsibility to provide child care for three children under four while the mother has treatment?
- Julie, Leicester, UK, 11/6/2011 15:29
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