A parent’s worst nightmare is a serious injury sustained by one of their children that could lead to their child’s death. When a child is injured, parents trust that medical professionals will provide the best medical care possible and take every possible course of action to save their child’s life. Unfortunately, one set of parents in North Carolina allege that the care provided to their son after a skateboarding accident was well below the accepted standard and ultimately led to his death. They have recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The 13-year-old boy was injured in a skateboarding accident in June. According to the lawsuit, doctors at Carteret General Hospital recommended that the teenager be transported to a different medical center as a result of a suspected head injury. His condition required that he be intubated. The parents claim that the medical professionals aboard the ambulance transporting him failed to properly sedate him and ignored signs that he was regaining consciousness. As a result, the teenager was able to remove his intubation tube.
The parents further claim that under the primary care of the respiratory therapist on the ambulance, who they allege was not experienced enough to provide that level of care on an ambulance, intubated into the teenager’s esophagus instead of his lung. At that point, medical care providers had sedated the boy so he was unable to breathe on his own and failed to observe signs of incorrect intubation. His condition continued to deteriorate. Upon arrival at a hospital, a different respiratory therapist was able to immediately and correctly reintubate; unfortunately, due to the amount of time he had spent without oxygen, he was brain dead. He died soon thereafter.
In their medical malpractice lawsuit, the North Carolina parents ask for damages for medical expenses and emotional distress in excess of $10,000 for each as well as other damages. While a verdict in their favor will not negate the emotional distress caused by the loss of the child, it could prevent similar losses such as this for future patients. Anyone who feels that they are the victim of medical malpractice has the right to have their case heard in a civil court.
Source: Carolina Coast Online, Lawsuit filed over death of Emerald Isle youth, Brad Rich, Nov. 6, 2013