A Baltimore medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against The Johns Hopkins Hospital and others for the alleged wrongful death of a two-year-old girl. The parents’ lawsuit alleges that the defendants noted a cyst on one of their twins’ adrenal gland shortly after the babies were born by Cesarean delivery on August 7, 2016 that could not be ruled out as a neuroblastoma and required follow-up testing, but the defendants failed to advise the parents regarding the finding.
The Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed in mid-July, 2020 alleges that the medical negligence of the defendants led to a delay of almost two years in diagnosing the aggressive cancer that led to the young child’s death after an 11-month battle with the devastating and painful disease.
In the summer of 2018, the child, Emma, had a fever, was congested, and had a painful stomachache about a week before her second birthday. Her parents brought her to an urgent care facility that provided Emma with a laxative. Her symptoms worsened over the next few days. An abdominal imaging study showed enlargement and displacement of Emma’s liver and spleen. Emma was rushed to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where an abdominal ultrasound showed a tumor that originated in her adrenal gland – the 4mm cyst discovered at birth had more than tripled in size, displacing Emma’s liver and kidneys. Emma’s cancer was then found to be in her lymph nodes, upper chest, neck, skull, pelvis, spine, and left leg.
Aggressive and painful treatment was started, including surgery on October 31, 2018, followed by chemotherapy, further surgery on December 10, 2018, and then radiotherapy. Had Emma’s parents been notified of the suspicious finding at the time of the ultrasound shortly after birth, they allege that they would have immediately sought diagnosis and treatment of her condition, which would have been treatable at that time. The spread of the neuroblastoma ultimately took Emma’s young life on June 3, 2019.
Emma’s father stated at the time the Maryland medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit was filed, “At discharge, we were instructed to follow up with several specialists on Emma’s behalf, which we followed through with immediately. If a cyst had been mentioned [to us] when Emma was born, we never would have let it go. We would have made the necessary appointments to protect our daughter. All Johns Hopkins needed to do was inform us of the results from the ultrasound, which they never did. We want healthcare providers to be held accountable and prioritize communicating with each other and with parents.” Emma’s mother stated, “What happened to our family could happen to anyone. We want to stress to parents to ask questions about what tests were done and their results. Also to order and review all medical records to make sure you have a full understanding of your child’s care.”
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