Girl suffers brain damage, lost leg to missed appendicitis

A 6-year-old girl is permanently disabled because doctors failed to notice that she had appendicitis, her parents say. The girl had to endure emergency surgery and almost died, and her parents want justice.

They have filed a medical malpractice suit against the pediatricians and emergency room doctors they say should have recognized the symptoms of this fairly common childhood ailment in time to prevent it from almost killing their daughter. The girl may need up to $42 million to pay for past and future medical care.

The girl became ill late in July 2011. Her parents took her to her pediatrician, who told them that the girl would get better on her own. But as the days passed, her condition deteriorated. But each time they brought the girl back to the doctor, they were turned away with the same lack of care, the parents say.

Finally, a week after the first doctor visit, the girl was suffering abdominal pain, a racing heartbeat and other symptoms of appendicitis. Doctors took her condition seriously at last and airlifted her to the hospital for emergency surgery. But her appendix had already burst and leaked three quarts of pus into her stomach. Her heart stopped several times, once requiring 45 minutes of CPR.

As a result, the girl suffered severe brain damage and had a leg amputated. Now 6, she is totally dependent on her parents.

It is perhaps surprising that doctors would fail to diagnose a common but potentially deadly disease like appendicitis. Doctors who negligently fail to treat an illness like this one may have to pay for the patient’s resulting injuries.

Source: KWES-TV, “Midland Family Files Medical Malpractice Suit Against Midland Memorial Hospital,” Alexa Williams, July 29, 2013




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