At the time of a Florida teenager’s birth, severe intestinal problems required that her spleen and other organs be removed. As a result of not having a spleen, the teenager was more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections that required her to take medication to prevent infections. Her mother was responsible to make sure that her child took the necessary medication.
What Is The Spleen And What Does It Do?
The spleen is a fist-sized organ above the stomach on the left side under the ribs. The spleen is part of the lymphatic system that contains white blood cells that fight infections. The spleen also keeps the body’s fluids in balance and assists the body to control the blood supply by destroying worn out and old cells. A person can live without a spleen but will be more susceptible to infections. People without spleens may need to take medication to prevent infections, especially children who may need to take antibiotics.
What Happened To The Florida Child?
In 1998, the child’s mother brought her to a medical school pediatric clinic where the child was vaccinated by a medical assistant with a special vaccine for people who do not have spleens. The particular vaccination that was given to the child had expired five months prior to it being administered to the child.
Eight months later, the child acquired a bacterial infection that caused blood clots to form in her legs and arms. Gangrene set in that required all four of the child’s limbs to be amputated. A medical malpractice case was filed and took ten years to come to trial.
Earlier this month, after a five-week trial and three days of jury deliberations, the medical malpractice jury found in favor of the child and awarded $12.6 million. The amount of the verdict will be reduced by 40%, which is the percentage by which the jury determined that the mother was responsible for her daughter’s injuries (the allegation was that the mother failed to give her daughter enough medication to prevent her bacterial infection that led to her amputations, despite having been given an expired vaccine).
It is anticipated that the medical malpractice defendants will appeal the verdict.
Vaccines have expiration dates because they lose potency and their ability to prevent the conditions that they are designed to prevent over time. An expired vaccine given to a patient is a danger to that patient — there is no way that the patient will know that the vaccine received had expired. Vaccines that are not properly stored or handled improperly are also a risk to patients.
If you or a family member suffered serious medical consequences as a result of a bad vaccine, you or your family member may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Local medical malpractice attorneys may be able to assist you in receiving the compensation that you deserve.
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