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Three Heartbreaking Examples of Alleged Medical Malpractice

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Oakland, CAIt’s something we all fear: Medical malpractice. And for reasons that have little to do with litigation. Rather, it’s the fear of not being able to fix what has been broken. Unlike a car that can be replaced if the mechanic screws up, or a house that can be shored up or rebuilt if the contractor gets it wrong, the human body carries far fewer options.

The sad truth is that sometimes medical negligence means saying good-bye to a loved one. And this is at its most heartbreaking, when it happens to children.

Three incidents of late, alleging medical malpractice, have served to galvanize the issue for anyone who has become aware of their stories. They are compelling. They are tragic. And they leave you shaking your head in wonderment.

How does this happen?

Investigations are still under way, but recently In Oakland, California, Jahi McMath, 13, was admitted to Children’s Hospital and Research Center for a routine tonsillectomy, as well as additional procedures in an effort to treat sleep apnea. That was on December 9, and Jahi would have been home for Christmas.

But it didn’t turn out that way. According to Reuters (1/6/14), the teen began bleeding profusely following surgery and her brain swelled. After three days, the hospital declared the girl brain dead and initiated plans to remove Jahi from a ventilator. The girl’s family, however, fought against the hospital’s plan to remove Jahi from life support in state and federal court, and earlier this week, the stricken girl was taken by private ambulance to an undisclosed long-term care facility that has offered to care for the child, and attempt to treat and rehabilitate her.

It was reported that doctors at the new treatment facility plan to perform a tracheostomy and gastrostomy for breathing and feeding, and have noted a hint of brain activity that suggests there is some hope. Officials for Children’s Hospital, meanwhile, indicate the hospital is investigating the circumstances leading up to Jahi’s tragic injury. It is not known if her family is planning a hospital malpractice lawsuit.

However, the parents of a newborn baby who did not survive an attempted vaginal childbirth using forceps plan to launch a medical malpractice lawsuit against the obstetrician who performed the delivery.

According to the New York Daily News (1/5/14), Rachel Melancon had asked for delivery by cesarean section. The obstetrician, identified as Dr. George T. Backardjiev, is alleged to have refused to perform the delivery in that fashion and instead attempted to bring Olivia Marie into the world through the vaginal birth canal. According to the report, the delivery proved difficult and forceps were required.

The infant suffered a cracked skull and broken spine, allegedly as the result of forceps, and did not survive beyond five days. She was delivered at Medical Center of Southeast Texas. Rachel Melancon, the mother, alleges medical negligence on the part of the doctor and further alleges that the forceps led to her daughter’s death. Melancon and her fiancé claim they heard the baby’s skull crack during the doctor’s attempt to deliver the child vaginally.

In a tragic turn, Melancon was subsequently rushed to surgery for an emergency cesarean section. But it was too late. The baby allegedly suffered too many injuries during the attempted forceps delivery.

And then there is the story of Finley Boyle, the 3-year-old tot from Hawaii who suffered massive brain injuries following dental work that went horribly wrong. Finley did not survive, and her family is alleging negligence.

According to Reuters (1/5/14), Ashley Boyle traveled to Island Dentistry for Children of Honolulu with her daughter for what was described as extensive dental work. The dentist, identified as Lilly Geyer, had recommended multiple cavity fillings and no fewer than four root canals for the girl.

Court documents filed by the family’s Medical malpractice lawyers allege that Finley was administered “grossly excessive” amounts of sedatives in order for the extensive procedures to be performed. The sedatives, it is alleged, caused the little girl to go into cardiac arrest and she subsequently suffered brain damage.

The family of the victim alleges that the staff at the dental clinic was not sufficiently trained to handle emergency situations, and also that they failed to check the little girl’s vital signs for a period of about 26 minutes. The lawyer handling the family’s medical malpractice claim indicated in comments published in Reuters that the 3-year-old wound up receiving a “massive overdose” of sedative.

Finley did not survive. The dentist office has since closed permanently, or so it has been reported.

A doctor mistake can happen - and that’s why doctors carry malpractice insurance, in the event that such a mistake occurs. The same holds true for hospitals, which are sometimes seen to have committed hospital malpractice.

The risk to the patient, however, can be more than mere inconvenience requiring extra time to heal. Often the consequences can be much more dire and heartbreaking, as the three foregoing cases demonstrate.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Shame to David Priver, MD for his inocous commets in regards to these VERY EVIDENTLEY MALPRACTISE CASES!

Individuals with similar mentality as you, are the reason why criminals are still performing as a decent health proffesionals! Taking a chance and risk to continue perpetrade pain and suffering in patience and families!

If any of this horrible situations were to happen to a love one, would David Priver, would keep his same pathetic perspective?

It would be lovely to see?

Posted by

on
Dr. Driver and Cecelia are unfortunately the kind of attitudes that breaks people's spirit, when they have suffered a evil act which is exactly what these three incidents were. I was experimented on @ Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem N.C. by residents during a total hip replacement. Not only was the practicing surgeon not in there while they butchered me, they put the wrong size neck in and it dislocated twice, after the butcher job, I was given blood transfusion and sent out three days later in a brace like a pig to slaughter with no rehab or nothing.I just recently found out the hip implant is defective and has allowed metal to destroy my bloodstream and body. I am facing revision surgery, vision issues and possibly permanent tissue damage and paralysis. The creator of the universe Ha Shem is watching and will come with revenge and recompense on all evil done against his children and against those who incite anger and calculating behaviors. Bless you "Heavenly Father" you are all we need against the evil. Amein Keren Wilson

Posted by

on
It is really not possible to reach any conclusions as to whether there was professional negligence in any of these cases. That would require a careful, detailed analysis of the medical records. Certainly, hemorrhage at a T+A is not, in itself negligence; nor is a forceps delivery so long as proper processes were involved. Same is true of the last case. We who work as medical expert witnesses need to adhere to certain standards, especially the one which requires us to delve deeply into the records before issuing any pronouncements about negligence or the absence thereof. That said, I see little purpose in posting this article other to inflame emotions.

Posted by

on
(snipped) "In Oakland, California, Jahi McMath, 13, was admitted to Children’s Hospital and Research Center for a routine tonsillectomy, as well as additional procedures in an effort to treat sleep apnea."
her presurgical admittance required her to stay in picu, that implies this was anything but a routine surgery.
couple this with rumors that her family fed her bits of cheesburger, and the fact they stated THEY suctioned her out prior to calling the hospitals nurses, makes them complicit in post surgical complications.
they hospital bent over backwards to accomodate this macabre, greedy family. enough is enough already.
her toal brain death makes complete decomposition of the body inevitable. when does this go from "trying to save Jahi" to abuse of a corpse?
no amount of artificial stimulation will stop what her death has put in process, they can prolong not prevent.

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