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Cost of hospital negligence? A teenage boy's life

Washington, D.C. residents trust in hospital medical staffs to provide knowledgeable care they need to keep them and their families healthy. In another state, that trust was apparently misplaced, and the cost of that hospital negligence was a teenage boy's life. The young man's parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, though the case was settled before it went to trial.

The lawsuit was filed against Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in June 2016 for the boy's 2014 death. As a child, he had been diagnosed with a kidney cyst that, though benign, required annual checkups. In May 2014, when the teenager began urinating blood, his mother took him to the emergency room of DHMC, where an ultrasound was performed.

It was alleged that, after incorrectly interpreting the results of the ultrasound, the boy was told his kidney was unchanged and stable, and the hospital discharged him. Only a few months later, however, the 17-year-old teen suffered a pulmonary embolism and died. An autopsy revealed that the fatal embolism was due to a large malignant mass on the boy's kidney.

This mass, had it correctly diagnosed during the prior emergency room visit, could have been treated, which would probably have saved the boy's life, the lawsuit claimed. Instead, the mass was apparently nowhere to be found in the medical reports from that visit, and the hospital staff's allegedly gross inaccuracy resulted in the boy's death. Though DHMC decided to settle -- reportedly for $2 million -- before the medical malpractice case went to trial, nothing can undo the tragedy that has already occurred. In similarly tragic cases in Washington, D.C., for individuals who have suffered serious injury or lost a loved one to hospital negligence, experienced professionals can offer guidance and ongoing support in the battle for just compensation.

Source: vnews.com, "Probate Records Indicate DHMC Settled Wrongful Death Case for $2 Million", Jordan Cuddemi, Dec. 20, 2017

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