In most instances, it is terrifying to have a family member admitted to the hospital. The hope is that the medical staff will help your loved one overcome their ailments, but what happens when something goes wrong and the hospital is to blame?
The families in this article are victims of medical staff negligence who fought back. Doctors and other staff receive extensive, ongoing education and support to prevent them from making fatal or extremely harmful mistakes. If they do not receive this support and training or if they do receive it and still fail to properly care for patients, then victims deserve compensation from the hospital. Compensation can cover costs of hospital bills, future treatment, funeral expenses, counseling fees, and the burdens of physical and emotional suffering.
Minor Mistake, Lethal Results
A recent article in the Washingtonian chronicled the sad story of 80-year-old Frances Barnes. When Barnes suffered a stroke in 2008, she was taken to Howard University Hospital for treatment. After about two weeks in the hospital, Barnes began to complain of pain in her legs. Her daughter removed the compression stockings on Barnes’ legs only to discover that her mother’s left foot had turned black.
According to a DC Department of Health investigation, hospital staff had failed to follow the doctor’s orders to remove the stockings for at least 30 minutes during each shift. As a result, Barnes developed a severe infection that could not be healed and required the amputation of her lower leg. After being released from the hospital, Barnes was moved to a nursing home where she continued to get infections and died a mere five months later. Barnes’ surviving family filed suit against the hospital, the results of which were not made public.
CBS New York reported the tragic loss of six month old, Amaan Ahmmad. In October 2011, Ahmmad was admitted to Brookdale University Hospital to be treated for pneumonia. Watching her child struggle to breath while he received antibiotics through an IV drip, Ahmmad’s mother expressed concern to hospital staff that her son was dying. She was told that her son was fine and simply sleeping.
Soon after beginning treatment, Ahmmad went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced brain dead. It was discovered that Ahmmad had been administered an adult dosage of the antibiotic Azithromycin, six times the amount a 17-pound baby should have been given.
Seattle PI recently reported the unexpected loss of fifteen year-old Michael Blankenship after a routine tooth extraction. Blankenship, suffering from autism, was unable to speak. In March 2009, Blankenship was admitted to Seattle Children’s for a tooth extraction and prescribed the pain patch Fetanyl. Blankenship was released after his surgery. The next morning, a family member found him unresponsive and he was pronounced dead upon the arrival of the paramedics.
The Blankenship family has filed a lawsuit against Seattle Children’s Hospital. According to a statement released by the FDA, the agency has “continued to receive reports of death and life-threatening adverse events related to fentanyl overdose.”
Blankenship’s mother conveyed her heartbreak over the loss of her son. “Michael’s needless death has devastated my entire family. And knowing how egregious and preventable the mistake was just makes our grief and suffering that much more unbearable.”
The family is filing a suit against the hospital with the assistance of an attorney.
If you have lost a loved one due to the mistakes of hospital staff, the pain may seem unbearable. Contact our caring attorneys today to see if you are entitled to compensation for your loss. Time is of the essence; set up your free consultation today.