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Tonsil surgery leaves teen brain dead


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 20, 2013 in Surgical Errors

This story took place miles away from Connecticut but could have happened anywhere: On Monday, Dec. 9, a girl went into Oakland Children's Hospital for routine tonsil surgery. The surgery was an effort to relieve her sleep apnea. A few days later, the girl was brain dead and on life support due to complications from the surgery. Post-surgical complications cause many deaths each year in the United States.

The father of the girl in this story reported that his daughter told her mother that something bad would happen to her before she went in for surgery. While the girl was recovering, she began to experience bleeding from the surgery site. The grandmother of the girl is a nurse at another hospital, and she was not happy with how the complications were being handled; she asked that a doctor be summoned. On Dec. 12, the girl went into cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead. The family felt that they should keep the girl on life support for as long as possible despite her brain death.

The hospital released a statement that said there would be an investigation but released no specific information. They also expressed sadness, and a representative said, regarding surgeries in general, "There can be unexpected, unanticipated complications."

Surgical errors can happen at any time. Sometimes there is surgical equipment left inside a patient or complications can be the result of a negligent operating room staff. If one has questions regarding possible malpractice, the best person to consult is an experienced attorney who specializes in the medical malpractice field.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Routine Tonsil Surgery Leaves Girl, 13, Brain Dead", Lydia O'Connor, December 16, 2013