A 12-year-old died from septic shock four days after being released from the emergency room. As you will see from the chronicle of events, substandard care and negligence appears to have caused the child’s death.
March 28th: The boy received a small cut on his arm during basketball practice at school. He complained of a stomachache before bed. Around midnight, the child woke up vomiting and complaining of pain in his leg.
March 29: In the morning, the boy had a fever of 104. Later in the day, he was scene by his pediatrician. By this time, he was so ill that his mother had to help him walk. His skin was blotchy when pressed. The pediatrician recommended the child be scene in the emergency room. NYU Langone Medical Center has a stop Sepsis program which is used to screen patients in the ER for three symptoms of a possible eight. When the child was first admitted, he showed two signs – he was breathing 20 times per minute and his pulse was 143. The parents were not advised of these weak vital signs. Two hours later, the boy was diagnosed with the flu and dehydration. He was told to take Tylenol and go home. Before his actual discharge, the child’s temperature had risen to 102; the third warning sign, but release papers were already processed and signed. Again, his parents were not advised. A few hours after the family left the hospital, lab results showed the child was producing vast quantities of cells that combat bacterial infection, a warning sign of sepsis. The parents were never notified.
March 30: The child’s skin had turned blue around his nose and the most delicate touch to his skin caused significant pain. The pediatrician recommended the child return to the ER.
On April 1: Despite the excellent care by doctors (not the ones that treated the child on March 29), the child died of severe septic shock brought on by the infection. Bacteria had gotten into his blood, probably through the cut on his arm. Sadly, three specialists who chronicled the child’s decline in health discovered that on the March 29 when the boy was sent home, he had a fever and significant signs of infection in his blood; signs that should have been enough warning to not release the child.
When we seek medical care, we expect the medical professionals to take all necessary steps and precautions to protect our health and our lives. In an emergency situation, we expect those steps to be taken immediately. When doctors and other hospital employees fail to perform their duties, serious physical consequence and/or death can result. This case appears to be an example of a wrongful death resulting from emergency room negligence. If medical and hospital staff fails to exercise proper care and implement appropriate standards of care, we will continue to read about preventable and wrongful deaths.
The parents of this young child have contacted an experienced wrongful death attorney, but no lawsuit has yet to be filed. If the couple does pursue a claim, they may wish to seek litigation funding to help with financial needs – funeral expenses, medical bills, outstanding household bills and charges – as they try to adjust to life without their loved one. Lawsuit Financial provides financial assistance to families while they pursue litigation for the wrongful death of a loved one. Our litigation funding professionals will evaluate your wrongful death lawsuit funding and can typically provide the funds you need within 24 – 48 hours of case evaluation. Call us toll free at 1-877-377-SUIT (7848) to learn more and for an analysis of your situation.