STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – A Staten Island couple has settled its malpractice lawsuit against a New Jersey hospital and medical staff for $12.5 million arising from the amputation of their young son’s leg due to complications from tonsil surgery.
The boy was 5 years old at the time, said online filings in Essex County (N.J.) Superior Court.
His name is being withheld due to his age.
In April 2015, the child underwent surgery at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston to remove his tonsils and adenoids, said court papers.
Complications arose requiring emergency resuscitation, court filings said.
During those procedures, doctors punctured both of the boy’s femoral arteries to try to establish lines in them, court papers said.
Afterward, he was placed on a ventilator and put in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Due to the punctures, doctors and nurses needed to closely monitor the circulation in the boy’s legs to make sure it was not impaired by blood clots, said court filings.
However, clots developed in his right leg, cutting off its blood supply, court papers said.
The leg became cold and started discoloring, while the pulse in it decreased, court papers said. Yet no treatment was administered, the plaintiffs contended.
After more than 12 hours had elapsed, a pulse could not be detected in the lower right leg, said the plaintiffs’ court papers.
The boy underwent emergency surgery, after which he was flown to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His right leg had to be amputated below the knee, court papers said.
The plaintiffs maintained the boy’s leg could have been saved had the medical professionals at St. Barnabas recognized the problem and responded appropriately as they were supposed to.
Due to the amputation, the child, now 10, uses prosthesis and a wheelchair, said court papers. He has ongoing medical problems.
The settlement is structured to provide for the boy’s needs into the future.
The hospital will pay the majority of the settlement, said court filings.
In a statement, a hospital spokesperson said: “St. Barnabas Medical Center has consistently received ‘A’ ratings for hospital safety from the Leapfrog Group, an independent rating agency, and is the only hospital in New Jersey and one of only 49 in the nation to receive straight ‘A’s since the program’s inception.”
“In the case of (the plaintiff), despite extraordinary efforts by all clinicians involved, a rare life-threatening event occurred during his hospital admission,” said the spokesperson. “While denying any wrongdoing on the part of the physicians and nurses, St. Barnabas Medical Center agreed to a settlement that will provide for the future medical care and needs of (the plaintiff). The Medical Center recognizes that (he) will face challenges in the years ahead and wishes him well.”
Source: SI LIVE