Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

A 12-year old boy dies of untreated infection

A 12-year old boy is sent home from the hospital, even though lab results show that he is suffering from a severe infection. Neither the boy's doctor nor his family is notified about the infection, and three days later the boy dies of septic shock.

The family of the boy is now asking why nobody at the hospital did anything to treat the boy, and why nobody informed the family that the boy was seriously ill. Unfortunately, delay in treatment and a failure to diagnose such an infection greatly decrease the chance of survival. It now appears that the boy would not have had to die if the doctors had acted immediately, and if proper communication between medical providers had been in place.

The parents brought the boy back to the emergency room once more shortly before the boy died, but by then there was little that the treating physicians could do. One of the boy's treating physicians had told the parents that they had every right to be angry.

Attorneys that practice in the area of medical malpractice understand that medical errors occur for some very basic reasons. It's not always the complexity of a procedure or diagnosis that can lead to such mistakes.

Sadly, what happened to the young boy could happen in a Pennsylvania hospital as well. When doctors do not act with a sense of urgency to symptoms being exhibited by their patients, when such medical providers fail to communicate concerns to other doctors and, especially, when they fail to keep patients and loved ones informed concerning various findings, patients are at risk of having illnesses go untreated.

Source: The New York Times, "An Infection, Unnoticed, Turns Unstoppable," by Jim Dwyer, July 12, 2012

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