Parents of septic shock victim may file medical malpractice suit

Parents may certainly consider screening pediatricians and family doctors in Joliet before choosing which medical professionals they will trust with their children’s lives. Nothing can be more painful than to see a child suffer, and when a child is ill, parents want to be sure that a child’s doctor will properly diagnose and treat their son or daughter.

Unfortunately, mistakes amongst health care professionals do happen, even when medical professionals are treating children. This past spring, one family lost their son as a result of a serious medical mistake. The parents of the 12-year-old boy say doctors who had cared for their child had downplayed or ignored symptoms from a cut the boy received during a school gym class. Only a few days had passed from the time the boy was hurt while diving for a basketball to the time he suffered awrongful death in an intensive care unit.

Fever, pain and nausea developed the day after the accident. The parents took a pediatrician’s advice and rushed their son to a medical center. Emergency room physicians administered fluids, prescribed a painkiller and sent the boy and his family home. However, there were warning signs that the boy was suffering from something far more serious. These warning signs were ignored.

The wound and the child’s blood were infected by bacteria. Septic shock caused by infection went undiagnosed too long. The boy’s parents believe physicians failed to consider a pediatrician’s report and medical records from the initial hospital visit when administering treatment for his symptoms. Had doctor’s considered all possibilities the boy might have been treated for the serious infection in time.

Fast-moving sepsis is a frequent cause of hospital deaths. The bacterium is not uncommon, although it can be lethal when it enters the bloodstream. Doctors who cannot recognize sepsis before shock takes hold have little chance to stop it. Sepsis awareness programs suggest that physician’s administer antibiotics within one hour of a diagnosis.

Sepsis mortality rates are high. Studies have found untreated patient survival rates drop rapidly by the hour, once low blood pressure is recorded.

Source: The New York Times, “An Infection, Unnoticed, Turns Unstoppable,” Jim Dwyer, July 11, 2012

Wrongful Death


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