On February 24, 2014, a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against an emergency room physician and others for the death of a 6-year-old who had been misdiagnosed in the emergency room, was sent home, and died four hours later. The parents’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendants negligently failed to diagnose the child’s medical condition in a timely manner, they failed to order the proper medical tests, and they misdiagnosed the child’s condition.
The parents allege that their child injured his back when he ran into a pole and fell on concrete at his elementary school’s playground on May 8, 2013. Early the same evening, the child’s parents brought him to the emergency room where he was complaining of abdominal pain in his left upper quadrant and pain in his back. The triage nurse noted in the medical records that the child was in severe pain and was pale. The emergency room physician’s differential diagnosis was: the possibility of internal injury vs constipation vs gas vs developing viral illness.
Medical tests were performed that included blood testing (complete blood count (CBC), which showed an elevated white blood cell count), liver function tests, and an abdominal x-ray, which showed a large amount of stool in the bowel. The child was medicated for pain and vomiting. An enema resulted in several large bowel movements. At the time of discharge from the emergency room, the child was diagnosed with constipation. Four hours later, the child arrested and died.
Following the child’s death, an autopsy was performed to determine the cause(s) of death. The autopsy found an abrasion of the child’s left lateral chest wall, a lacerated kidney with hemorrhage, intestinal hemorrhage, and injuries to his pancreas, stomach, right kidney, and his abdomen.
The parents’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the enema in the emergency room, as well as other medical errors, masked their child’s symptoms that were consistent with internal injuries and led to the misdiagnosis of constipation.
After filing the Texas medical malpractice case in the Dallas County Court, the parents’ medical malpractice lawyer stated, “This is a terrible case of gross negligence which should have every parent in Dallas concerned about the competence of the medical care their children will get if they take them to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center. Not recognizing the internal trauma that was evident and sending a child home with a diagnosis of constipation is terrible medical care.”
A spokesperson for the medical malpractice defendants refused to comment, referencing a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of medical malpractice in Texas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Texas medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate the cause of your injuries and represent you in a medical malpractice claim, if appropriate.
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