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Child dies after elective procedure due to lack of checks

The Donahey Law Firm

Franklin, Ohio, readers might have heard about this news story. In 2002, a little girl passed away after an elective surgery. What’s interesting is that her wrongful death could have been prevented, and her mother is now trying to get the state of California to provide monitoring for all patients’ breathing after surgeries because of what happened to her daughter.

According to the news, the little girl passed away because of a medication used during the surgery. It allegedly caused her to go into respiratory arrest, and since she wasn’t being monitored, the respiratory arrest went unnoticed. Now, it’s been over 10 years since the incident, but her mother is pushing for legislation, called Leah’s Law after her daughter, to make hospitals monitor patients’ breathing after surgery. With just that one simple step, this little girl might have been saved.

According to the mother, the little girl’s surgery was elective, and her death took place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the most prestigious hospitals in the United States. She claims that the medical equipment that could have saved her child’s life was in the hospital already, but for some reason, it wasn’t used. According to the news, between 210,000 and 400,000 patient deaths occur each year, but those deaths could be prevented, much like in this child’s case. If the law is approved, then the new legislation may help prevent patient deaths due to respiratory arrest after surgery, or at least, it would allow the staff to know that someone was in danger.

The wrongful death of a loved one can be difficult to bear, but if you feel they have passed away due to medical negligence or other errors, you may have the right to seek compensation and legal advice to help prevent injuries from happening to others.

Source:  Forbes, “Leah’s Law: A Mother’s Mission to Save Lives” Robert J. Szczerba, Nov. 19, 2013

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