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Was bully victim also a victim of hospital negligence?

When Chicago residents are seriously injured in accidents or violent attacks, they will most likely need to receive immediate medical treatment in order to reduce the risk of suffering from fatal complications. However, when patients are hospitalized, they may face additional risks and health complications if hospitals fail to prevent the spread of dangerous germs.

Last week, a patient died at a U.S. hospital from serious injuries he had suffered after being attacked by bullies. The patient was only 12 years old. He was seriously hurt after he had been jumped by two classmates during recess in January. The boy suffered a concussion and a broken nose in the attack, and two weeks later he began suffering from seizures. The boy was put into a medically-induced coma, and last week, the boy’s parents took their son off of life support.

The boy’s death is heartbreaking, but it is not entirely certain who is responsible for his death. The boy may have ended up in the hospital because of the injuries he suffered from being bullied at school, but while the boy was in the hospital, he also became ill with pneumonia.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is a lung infection that hospital patients may get when germs are present in hospitals. Because hospital patients may already be suffering from serious health problems, hospital-acquired pneumonia may lead to severe health problems or even fatal complications. When the infection is diagnosed in a timely manner, patients may be treated with antibiotics.

According to reports, the Pennsylvania boy who suffered injuries after being bullied was hospitalized when he began suffering from seizures. While he was in the hospital, he suffered additional health problems after getting pneumonia and even needed to have a blood transfusion. The boy’s conditions were not improving and his family took him off of life support on March 3. He died the same day.

The boy’s death is under investigation. Officials have yet to determine whether the boy’s seizures were caused by his injuries suffered from the bully attack. Officials may also be looking into whether a hospital mistake was made while treating the boy.

Source: NBC10 Philadelphia, “Students consoled after boys alleged ‘bullying’ death,” David Chang, March 4, 2013

  • Our Chicago firm provides counsel to patients and families who have been harmed by hospital negligence, including hospital-acquired infections. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our firm’s web page regarding hospital mistakes and patient infections in Cook County.


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