Recently, Fox40 reported that an 18-month-old girl suffered third degree burns on her right arm when antibiotics were pumped into her hand instead of her veins. The hospital responsible for this inexcusable medical error was the Kaiser Permanente in California. The infant’s parents are blaming and suing the hospital for the devastating damage.
Our medical malpractice attorneys sympathize with the victim and her family for both the terrible error and the long, hard road to recovery.
The 18-month old, Mia, was admitted to the hospital because of an MRSA-associated boil. MRSA is a staph germ that lives on a person’s skin, only causing damage if it enters the blood stream.
The victim’s parents said that the MRSA threat was minuscule compared to the devastation she was to experience next.
Nurses at the hospital struggled for over two hours to get prescribed antibiotics correctly into the infant’s body. They stuck the needle into the little girl’s feet to the arms more than twenty times, while the Mia cried.
Mia’s parents said they requested for a phlebotomist to insert the IV, or to at least take a break. The nurses, however, refused, and informed them that the doctors wanted them to remain in the patient’s room until the antibiotics were in.
Once the IV was presumably in, the use of infant restraints concealed the horrible reality of what was happening to her hand and arm. Nurses failed completely to insert the IV into her vein, injecting the antibiotics into her tiny hand instead.
Though the IV machine was constantly beeping, none of the hospital’s staffs noticed the dangerous IV penetration for over six hours.
Mia’s hand and arm swelled up “like the Michelin tire man,” and it was so caustic in the infant’s body that it began to ravage her skin, burning it like an acid. The tender arm and hand were bleeding, leaking, and swelling, as little Mia screamed.
What followed were long days and nights of attempting to repair the damage at another hospital. The treatment involved scratching off her burnt skin, without anesthesia.
Mia now has to constantly wear a glove on her tiny hand to protect the grafted skin and preserve function. She is also facing an array of future surgeries to maintain the affected area.
The family’s attorney said the hospital representatives wish to resolve the case and were given a set amount of time to declare that officially. He plans to proceed with binding arbitration if there is no response from them.
The settlement includes monetary damages to cover the child’s ongoing care and a requirement that within six months, the hospital should carry out an educational session for its nurses regarding correct IV insertion.
While incompetence and lack of proper training devastate innocent victims, misuse of technology can cause serious and even fatal medical errors as well. Renal & Urology News recently published an article stating that technologies such as tablets and smart phones could be a dangerous distraction to nurses and physicians. While proper utilization of these devices could actually reduce the frequency of medical mistakes, using them for personal purposes often leads to an increase of errors.
A New York Times article provided an example of the kind of distraction a mobile device could cause. One patient recently became partially paralyzed after their neurosurgeon made at least ten personal phone calls from a cell phone during the surgery. The case was settled before a lawsuit.
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If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from a medical error or negligence at the hands of a medical provider, you have important legal rights and may be entitled to compensation. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer for a free legal consultation.