Mother Sues Children’s Hospital After Daughter Dies
A Birmingham mother is suing Children’s Hospital after her daughter died under their care, according to a recent article.
The girl became sick in April when she was complaining of stomach pain, fever, and nausea. She was diagnosed with appendicitis and given an antibiotic as opposed to surgical intervention. Later that month, the girl’s condition began to worsen. Her mother described her as “curled up in a ball” in pain. The mother was advised to bring the child back to the emergency room, which she did. A surgeon performed an emergency appendectomy. The girl’s doctor described the surgery as “unremarkable”.
In early May, the girl returned to school. According to parents and teachers, she appeared “tired, lethargic, and weak.” The next day, the mother took her child to her pediatrician who is now the defendant. During the visit, the child showed signs of post-surgical complications, but the doctor failed to inspect the surgical site or conduct a look at the girl’s abdomen. Instead, he diagnosed her with pinworms and sent her on her way. While the mother was still concerned about her child, she trusted her doctor. Meanwhile, the girl was taking medication for pinworms.
The next day, the girl suffered a seizure in front of her grandmother and began convulsing. 911 was called, and when EMTs arrived, the girl had no pulse. They were able to revive her, but her pulse was characterized as “thready”. She died later that day in the hospital.
Elements of medical negligence
Medical negligence is unlike simple negligence. In a simple negligence situation, your actions are compared against those of a “reasonable person”. In a medical negligence situation, a doctor’s actions are compared against the prevailing standard of care for the medical industry. In this case, the pediatrician is being sued for failing to timely diagnose the girl with a post-surgical complication. Instead, he made a diagnosis of pinworms based on something else. The girl was sent home with a prescription for anti-pinworm medication while an infection was making its way through her body.
In a case like this, one would imagine that the prevailing standard of care of a post-surgical patient would be to check the surgical site. In this case, that didn’t happen. Where the pinworm diagnosis came from is unclear. Pinworms are visible in the stool and those who have a pinworm infection generally have itching and rashes around their anus. In other words, it did not appear to fit the symptoms.
The plaintiffs will argue that the doctor failed to conduct an inspection of the surgical site which was the most likely cause of the girl’s discomfort. Had he, the girl would still be alive. Most doctors would have thought to check the surgical site, hence the doctor is liable for the girl’s death.
Talk to a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a medical doctor, call the Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Gillette Law today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation in more detail.