On May 31, 2019, a Philadelphia medical malpractice jury returned its verdict after three days of deliberations in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $3.38 million for the death of their 21-month-old daughter in September 2014 because her strangulated small intestine was not diagnosed in time to save her life.
“This was a preventable tragedy that was caused by the medical negligence of the defendants. The jury clearly understood that and appropriately awarded significant compensation to the  family,” stated one of the family’s Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers shortly after the verdict.
The Underlying Facts
The young child’s parents brought her to the doctor after she became ill. The doctor sent her home with her parents, instructing the parents to provide her with fluids and anti-nausea medication. Later that night, the child was transported by ambulance to a local hospital’s emergency department after the child became unresponsive at home. The hospital reportedly did not have a pediatrician and was incapable of treating pediatric patients.
Nonetheless, the child was kept in the emergency room for two hours during which she was provided small amounts of fluids intravenously. During that time, the child’s heart rate was very high, at one pointed being measured at 193 beats per minute. However, her blood pressure was not taken and the nurse simply shut off alarms that frequently sounded, according to the parents’ Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit.
The parents alleged that when their young daughter’s blood pressure was finally taken at 3:38 a.m., it was very low (60/32). Her condition deteriorated, she became pale and cool to the touch, her nail beds were dusky, and her lips turned blue. Attempts at resuscitation were futile, and she was pronounced dead at 4:44 a.m.
The parents’ Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendant hospital breached the standard of care by negligently failing to diagnose and treat their child’s strangulated small intestine and by failing to transfer her to another hospital that could provide her with care and treatment that could have saved her life.
The parents’ medical malpractice lawyers further alleged that a physician’s assistant initially documented in the child’s medical records bilious vomiting, which is a red flag for a bowel obstruction and a sign that emergency surgery is necessary in a child, but subsequently altered the records to remove that information.
The defendant hospital states on its website, “Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park offers a full range of services, including a 24-hour Emergency Department, on a 30-acre suburban campus in Montgomery County.” (emphasis in the original)
If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Pennsylvania or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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