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West Virginia parents: Boy's injuries due to hospital negligence

Children are dependent upon the medical decisions parents make for them. In turn, Charleston parents place their trust and, in emergencies, the lives of their children in the hands of doctors. That trust agreement obligates physicians to use the full extent of their knowledge and skills to provide quality patient care.

The parents of a Birch River boy claim their son suffered permanent harm under the care of city-operated Summersville Regional Medical Center. A medical malpractice lawsuit filed last month names an emergency room doctor, an image consulting firm company and the hospital. The complaint stated care for the 4-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer was negligent.

The screaming child was experiencing chills, nausea and severe abdominal pain when his parents rushed to him to the hospital. An abdominal and pelvic CT scan was administered and reviewed by the defendant physician, who reportedly failed to notice the child's spleen was swollen or ruptured. Blood transfusions began when the boy's blood pressure dropped precipitously and the boy suffered hemorrhagic shock, but no further tests or surgical consultations were ordered.

The hospital made arrangements to airlift the boy to West Virginia University Medical Center. The child's condition was so grave, the flight was shortened and the boy was admitted to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. Doctors there were forced to perform CPR during emergency surgery for the spleen rupture.

The parents claim the Summersville facility's incompetence and failure to further test and diagnose the child's condition led to permanent losses.

The trust is broken when doctors harm patients by acting unreasonably, according to the standards of the medical profession. Physician negligence may be a result of direct patient harm, like a surgical error. Doctors also may be held liable for what they fail to do – wrong diagnoses, missed diagnoses and treatment delays. Parents of West Virginia children injured by medical incompetence may file civil claims to recover compensation.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Parents allege medical negligence led to son’s injury" April Bamburg, Aug. 19, 2014

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