A federal medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in Texas on May 19, 2020 regarding the severe brain injury suffered by an infant in the defendant hospital shortly after undergoing a cardiac procedure. The Texas federal medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that on August 29, 2018, the infant was admitted to the defendant hospital for right heart catheterization and balloon dilatation of his congenital atrial septal defect and patent ductus arteriosus, which a cardiologist performed in the hospital’s cardiac catherization lab.
Two minutes after the infant was taken to his hospital room, a nurse documented that the infant’s right lower extremity (RLE) pulse was not palpable or audible with a doppler and was mottled and cooler than the left lower extremity (LLE). Several hours later, the same nurse documented that pulses in the infant’s RLE were absent, bilateral lower extremity remained dusky, the RLE was cooler than the LLE, Lovenox was to be given when available by the pharmacy, and that the critical care team (CCM) was aware.
Forty minutes later, the nurse documented that the CCM team planned to extubate the infant despite the bedside registered nurse expressing concern over pulselessness on the RLE and orders to lay flat after the cardiac catheterization procedure. The nurse documented that the CCM team was aware of such but would move forward with extubation after consulting with cardiology.
Five minutes later, the nurse documented that the infant had increased work of breathing after extubation and that the bedside medical providers decided to reintubate the infant. The Texas medical malpractice complaint alleges that a correct-sized oxygen face mask was not immediately available in the infant’s room after extubation; that a nurse or respiratory therapist held an incorrect-sized oxygen face mask to the infant’s face after extubation; that the appropriate coupling to connect the oxygen face mask to tubing was not immediately available in the infant’s room after extubation; that a respiratory therapist held two sections of tubing together by hand to prevent oxygen from seeping out; and, after extubation and before re-intubation, the infant’s oxygen saturation level dropped to the 30s.
The complaint alleges that approximately one hour passed between the infant’s extubation and re-intubation, during which time he was struggling to breathe, and that the infant developed a new hypoxic ischemic brain injury between extubation and re-intubation. The complaint alleges that the nurse and the respiratory therapy staff were negligent in failing to recognize that the infant had a potentially difficult airway and failed to ensure that all necessary resuscitation supplies and equipment, of the proper size, were immediately available in the infant’s room before extubation, inter alia. The complaint further alleges that the medical staff negligently failed to recognize that the infant had a difficult airway before extubation, and failed to insure that the infant was fully awake and alert before extubation, inter alia.
Wu v. Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division, Case No. 4:20-cv-1747.
If your infant suffered serious harm as a result of medical malpractice in Texas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Texas medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your infant medical malpractice claim for you and represent you and your child in an infant medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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