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Hospital changes procedures after malpractice case

One of the most painful things that a parent in Massachusetts can endure is to watch their child suffer. When this suffering is prolonged because of the negligence of someone else - such as in an emergency room, that experience can be unbearable.

Unfortunately, one family had to witness their daughter's body succumb to a deadly infection as a result of hospital negligence. They immediately brought her to the emergency room as her limbs were turning purple. Hoping to receive immediate treatment for the infection, the hospital instead neglected the patient for up to four hours in the waiting room while the damage done to the little girl's limbs was becoming irreversible.

By the time she was finally treated at another hospital, doctors had no choice left but to amputate the infected legs in order to stop the infection from spreading to the rest of her body.

Could the girl's legs have been saved if she was promptly seen and diagnosed in the emergency room when she was originally brought in? Possibly.

As a result of this blatant medical malpractice, the hospital was willing to settle with the girl's family for a record-setting $10 million. This money will go towards care for this girl's past and future medical expenses.

Another positive outcome of this medical malpractice lawsuit is that this hospital has changed its procedures in its emergency room lobby so that now all incoming patients are assessed and admitted based upon the level of medical need. Perhaps this should set a precedent for other hospitals to follow suit.

The settlement is an extremely important result, not just for this hospital and this patient, but for people everywhere, including in Massachusetts, who require medical assistance in an emergency room.

Source: fox40.com, "Hospital Makes Changes after Toddler's Amputations; Girl Continues Recovery Two Years Later," Chris Biele, Nov. 6, 2012

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