U.S. Government Pays Out $1.3 Million After Infant Dies in a Military Base Hospital
Earlier this month, the United States government agreed to pay roughly $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a family who claimed that their daughter died due to the negligence of a government hospital’s staff. According to one news source, the incident occurred about three years ago at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Evidently, the allegations in the lawsuit are that the child was admitted not long after birth with an upper-respiratory infection. As a part of the recommended treatment, an oxygen mask was needed to ensure that the child was able to breathe and was getting enough oxygen. However, according to the lawsuit, “the mask was too big for neonatal sizes and too small for bigger pediatric sizes.” As a result, the infant suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. Not long after the incident, the child’s parents decided to take her off life support, and she died a short time later.
The United States government did not admit liability, but it has agreed to pay the family about $1.3 million for the “great physical pain, suffering, discomfort, emotional injuries and distress” that the child and her family suffered as a result. The settlement still requires final approval from the U.S. Justice Department.
Providing Care to Newborn Babies
Hospitals and their staff must be able to provide appropriate care to all patients to whom they provide treatment. This encompasses both the very young and the very old. When a hospital accepts patients who are pregnant, or families who have very young newborn babies, they must ensure that staff members have the appropriate training and that the facility has the proper medical equipment to provide the necessary level of treatment.
While liability has not been determined in the lawsuit mentioned above, it seems as though the hospital failed to ensure that they had the correct size of oxygen mask for newborn babies on hand. This kind of oversight is exactly the type that can result in a hospital being held liable for the injuries of patients, as was the case in the situation discussed above.
Whether the lapse in care is during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after a child is born, doctors, nurses, and hospitals all have a duty to ensure proper care of both mother and child. When a lapse does occur, the affected family should speak with a dedicated birth injury attorney to discuss their options.
Has Your Child Been the Victim of a Birth Injury or Other Instance of Medical Malpractice?
If you have recently given birth to a child who was born with a preventable birth injury, or your very young child was hurt because you believe he did not receive appropriate care, you may have a cause of action against the doctor or nurse who provided the care. In addition, you may be able to name the hospital as an additional defendant, depending on the circumstances of the case. To learn more about birth injury and medical malpractice cases, call one of the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Baltimore law firm of Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt. The skilled advocates at WVF have the experience you need to feel comfortable putting your case in their hands. Call (410) 567-0800 today to set up a free consultation.