As many parents in Louisiana know, it can be heartbreaking and terrifying for parents when their child needs major surgery shortly after birth. However, the anxiety doesn't necessarily end with the surgery. One couple had to be diligent with their daughter's health after she had to have a heart transplant shortly after birth due to some medical complications. When she made a call regarding how to treat her daughter's cold, she never believed that call would end with a medical malpractice suit.
The person on the other end of the phone consulted the pediatric cardiologist with regard to what medication should be given to the little girl. When that resident called the girl's mother back, she was told to give her daughter a certain medication, which she did. Within a short period of time of giving her the medication, the young girl suffered from cardiac arrest. The incident left her with serious brain damage.
As it turns out, the pediatric cardiologist hadn't told the resident the medication to give the girl. Instead, he had told the resident what medication the family should avoid giving her. This miscommunication may have cost a young girl and her family a normal life.
This young girl's parents filed a medical malpractice suit against the university hospital. Louisiana parents may not be pleased to know that the family was recently awarded $15.2 million. The university hospital maintains that it was not this miscommunication regarding the medication that caused the little girl to go into cardiac arrest. However, the judge disagreed. Having said that, the university hospital has implemented new procedures requiring instructions to be read back in order to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of the instructions that were given.
Source: q13fox.com, "Family awarded $15 million in medical negligence suit," Tom Yazwinski, July 12, 2013