On May 20, 2015, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury returned a plaintiffs’ verdict in the amount of $6.2 million, after almost four weeks of trial, against the defendants pediatric surgeons, hospital, and health care systems arising out of the death of a two-year-old child in 2009. The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendants failed to timely and adequately respond to the child’s symptoms that were diagnosed as gastroparesis, which required appropriate surgical intervention.
The parents’ Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that their child’s death was unnecessary and preventable had the defendants timely performed surgery instead of discharging the child to the parents’ care with inadequate discharge instructions. The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the failure to properly intervene with surgery resulted in their daughter suffering a gastric perforation that led to her death.
What Is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is a medical condition where the usual spontaneous powerful motility of the muscles of the stomach fail to function properly (poor motility or no motility), thereby preventing the stomach from properly emptying and leading to interference with normal digestion, abnormal levels of blood sugar, and problems with nutrition. Gastroparesis does not involve an intestinal blockage.
Gastroparesis may be caused by a disruption of nerve signals to the stomach but the exact cause is unknown. Gasotroparesis in a known complication of diabetes and may also occur after some surgical procedures. The risk factors for gastroparesis include diabetes, gastrectomy, systemic sclerosis, and use of anticholinergic medication that block certain nerve signals.
The symptoms of gastroparesis may include abdominal distention, hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, nausea, premature abdominal fullness after meals, unintended weight loss, and vomiting.
No parent should experience the death of a child. When a child’s death is due to medical negligence, the preventable and unnecessary death may be even more painful for parents who feel guilty because they believe that they did not protect their child, even though they were not responsible for the wrongdoing that caused or contributed to their child’s death.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know if a medical provider’s negligence caused or contributed to a child’s death. The services of a medical malpractice lawyer may be necessary in order to investigate the cause of a child’s death following medical care, and to determine whether medical malpractice was the reason for the unexpected death.
If your child died following medical care and it is not clear to you whether your child’s death was avoidable or preventable with proper medical care, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate the cause of your child’s death and whether medical negligence caused or contributed to your child’s death, and to represent you in a medical malpractice claim against the medical providers who failed to comply with the applicable standard of care in caring for your child, if appropriate.
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