The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys for a young child who had 24 experimental surgeries that led to his severe and permanent brain injury were able to recently settle the medical malpractice claims against the defendant surgeon and defendant hospital, for $30 million.
The child was born on November 5, 2009 and was diagnosed at that time with esophageal atresia. The defendant surgeon operated on the newborn the day after his birth, which surgery was supposed to be routine surgery for the easily treatable medical condition. The defendant surgeon subsequently performed an additional 24 surgeries that were considered experimental and were not authorized by the defendant hospital and were not part of an approved clinical trial protocol. During the last surgery, the defendant surgeon employed an allegedly inappropriate, off-label use of an endoclose device that severed the boy’s pulmonary artery, leading to severe, permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy.
The family’s medical malpractice claim alleged that the defendant hospital was negligent by failing to recognize and question the defendant physician’s excessive number of surgeries performed on the child, as well as the outcomes of the many surgeries that the child endured.
Esophageal atresia is a congenital defect of the digestive system in which the esophagus does not develop properly. In most cases of esophageal atresia, the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach. Esophageal atresia occurs in about 1 out of 4,000 births.
Esophageal atresia is usually detected shortly after birth when feeding is attempted and the infant coughs, chokes, and turns blue. When esophageal atresia is suspected in a newborn, an attempt is made to pass a small feeding tube through the mouth or nose into the stomach. In a newborn with esophageal atresia, the feeding tube will not be able to pass all the way to the stomach and an x-ray of the esophagus will show an air-filled pouch and air in the stomach and intestine and the feeding tube will appear coiled up in the newborn’s upper esophagus.
Esophageal atresia is considered a surgical emergency and surgery to repair the esophagus should be done quickly after the newborn is stabilized so that the baby’s lungs are not damaged and the baby can be fed. An early diagnosis gives a better chance of a good outcome (a serious possible complication from esophageal atresia may occur if the baby breathes saliva and other fluids into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia, choking, and possibly death).
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or other harms as a result of medical malpractice in Chicago or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Chicago medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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