Any Miami resident who has been in an emergency room knows that hospitals are busy places. There are so many patients that doctors and medical staff are trying to care for that sometimes mistakes are made. Doctors are forced to make quick decisions, and this sometimes leads to misdiagnosed medical conditions and even death. Unfortunately, this was the case for a 6-year-old boy who did not receive proper medical attention after a playground accident. His parents are now filing a medical malpractice suit.
The Texas boy was injured in May after falling on concrete while at school. Before the fall, he had run into a pole and hurt his back. He visited the emergency room of a local hospital that evening complaining of back and stomach pain.
Doctors ordered numerous tests and the final diagnosis was constipation and a high white blood cell count. He was given an enema and some pain medication and was released from the hospital. The boy died several hours later.
An autopsy showed that the boy was not constipated but instead suffering from internal injuries. His chest wall, kidneys, abdomen and pancreas all showed lacerations and abrasions. The boy’s parents have filed a claim against the hospital and doctor, claiming that negligence and failure to diagnose the boy’s medical condition in a timely manner caused him to die.
This incident shows that while humans do make mistakes, misdiagnosis can lead to death. Although children are sometimes unable to fully explain their pain, their complaints should be taken seriously. The doctor and hospital may be liable for the boy’s death and may be forced to pay compensation to his parents.
Source: Dallas Business Journal, “Children’s Medical, UT Southwestern named in malpractice suit after 6-year-old boy dies” Bill Hethcock, Feb. 24, 2014