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Child’s death highlights danger of hospital negligence

Sep 8, 2017 | Hospital Negligence

Going to the hospital can be a frightening experience for New York patients. Most of the time, this is simply because of the illness or injury prompting the hospital visit. However, when something goes wrong, there can be other reasons to be concerned.

In Pennsylvania, one hospital was cited by the Department of Health after a 6-year-old boy died in January 2017. The boy came to the hospital with a low body temperature of 89.4 degrees and was placed under a blanket-like warming device that uses hot air to raise body temperature. While his temperature was checked every two hours for a 10-hour period, after that time he was left neglected under the device for 10 more hours.

The next time his vital signs were checked, he had no pulse and his body temperature was recorded at 107.6 degrees. The heating device had been left on high all night long, and no one on the hospital staff had performed the checks on the boy to ensure his safety. The boy was declared dead soon thereafter.

After the boy’s death, no report was submitted to the Patient Safety Authority, despite a requirement to do so within 24 hours of any serious event. The hospital finally reported it 77 days later after an anonymous letter had been written to the safety authority about the incident. The hospital was cited both for its failure to monitor the boy’s temperature and for its failure to report the incident as required.

Hospital neglect can turn a place of help into a place of despair for patients. Medical errors by doctors or other hospital staff can lead to catastrophic outcomes. People who have harmed by such negligence may want to discuss their situations with a medical malpractice attorney.