Children’s Hospital Sued over Emergency Room Malpractice

The parents of a 19-month-old toddler are suing her hospital because of the delayed treatment she received after swallowing a battery. The incident has left the girl with a burned esophagus, which restricts her eating, and does not allow for her to eat solid foods. The family is asking for unspecified damages, since “hundreds of thousands” have already been spent on her care.

What Happened?

While the toddler was “mouthing” a remote control, a small lithium ion battery dislodged and fell out. Before her mother was able to take the battery, she swallowed it. 911 was immediately called and the little girl was brought to the emergency room.

In the emergency room, the family was told that their child was in no danger; that this situation was akin to swallowing a coin. Although the hospital’s own website clearly states that these types of batteries should be removed within two hours to avoid burning of the esophagus, the family was not told this in the emergency room. Instead, medical staff proceeded to x-ray the child without any surgery being ordered to remove the battery. Removal surgery was eventually scheduled, but not until after the battery had time to cause damage, about five hours later.

Though the family was initially led to believe that their child was in no immediate peril, the picture has emerged is quite different. The little girl’s esophagus was severely burned, and as a result her diet is now strictly limited, allowing only blended or baby foods.

In an effort to address the damage to the esophagus, and in the hopes of allowing her to eat solid foods at some point, this little girl has been subjected to almost twenty surgeries and travels regularly to the hospital for treatment.

Is This Common?

Medical malpractice in the emergency room is unfortunately a very common event. In large part, it’s the result of a “perfect storm” of circumstances true of most emergency room settings. Overworked doctors and staff, inexperienced interns, long waiting-room times, backed up patients, many patients seen in a short time, many interruptions, and a lack of patients’ previous medical records are all factors that inevitably lead to medical mistakes.

If you have been injured by the negligence or inadequate care of others, you may be entitled to receive damages. Whether the negligence occurs in an emergency room or elsewhere, experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help ensure that you receive any monetary damages to which you may be entitled. Millions have already been collected by our firm. Contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC for a free, no-obligation case analysis by one of our experienced attorneys to see if we can help you. Call (312) 644-0444.