Hospital Errors Kill 12-Year-Old Boy
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) September 13, 2012 - When a child dies due to a hospital error, the family’s pain is never ending. Perhaps a lesson lies in the grief.
“This case was one of a brutal mistaken diagnosis. The patient, a 12-year-old boy, died as a direct result of that hospital error,” stated Mike Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
The young boy was sent home after a visit to his own pediatrician at the local ER, who diagnosed him with a stomach virus. The symptoms kept getting worse and later in the day he died, a victim of Toxic Shock Syndrome, something that was indicated in the results of his blood tests. His tests clearly showed he had a bacterial infection which, had he been diagnosed correctly, would have responded to antibiotics. The lab tests were never checked in the ER.
“But for the ER physician not checking the blood tests, this young boy would still be alive. The family’s worst nightmare, a child dying before his parents, had come true. As it turned out, the source of the infection was a cut on the boy’s elbow that he had sustained while playing basketball,” Smith explained.
Who was watching what went on in the ER? How could a doctor miss something as vital and life-saving as a blood test? The hospital had no good explanations but responded by announcing it would be radically changing its ER procedures in light of this unnecessary and highly preventable death.
While the case is one suitable for teaching purposes, as in what not to do when treating ER patients with mysterious symptoms, it will not bring the boy back. In seeking a resolution that would best serve others, the boy’s parents filed a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit, in the hopes that what happened to their son would never happen to another child.
“Hospital errors take the lives of many people, in ways we might not expect,” added Smith. “But realizing that mistakes happen in high pressure situations, doctors are held to a higher standard of care, due to their training. They know how to read lab results. In failing to do the very basics of treating a patient, they negligently caused the death of a young boy. The lawsuit did prompt the hospital to examine their procedures and make changes. The suit was a win in that regard. The money did not matter,” Smith said.
Not all bad outcomes with a doctor are the result of hospital errors. Take the time to reach out to a competent personal injury lawyer and find out what legal rights are accorded to patients and what is required to file a lawsuit.
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