Cook County Medical Malpractice Verdict Decided in Favor of Parents for Delay in Treatment of Child with Heart Defect

A recent Cook County medical malpractice verdict of $22.3 million was awarded to the parents of a now ten year-old boy. A review of the case reveals that the damages included the loss of both legs as well as brain injuries that included cognitive and neurological abilities. These severe damages were allegedly the result of a delay in diagnosing and treating the boy’s congenital heart defect.

This case is an unfortunate example of the way that a series of seemingly minor delays and mistakes can lead to disastrous outcomes. The boy was born with a congenital heart defect and had a shunt placed just two days after his birth in an attempt to correct this defect. However, this proved inadequate and two weeks later the baby returned to the emergency room, at which time an echocardiogram suggested that the shunt was partially blocked.

At this point instead of immediately preceding with a surgery to correct the blocked shunt, the attending cardiologist ordered a cardiac catheterization. This procedure was ordered not to correct the baby’s defect, but according to plaintiff’s attorneys was done simply to confirm the diagnosis of the blocked shunt that had been made by another doctor. The plaintiff’s attorneys further alleged that the cardiac catheterization unnecessarily delayed the surgery and directly contributed to the Cook County medical negligence.

The delay of the necessary surgery along with other systemic mistakes resulted in a lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, to the child, which in turn led to developmental delays and neurological weakness to the right side of his body. Furthermore, plaintiff’s attorneys pointed to the failure to promptly recognize and remove an improperly applied pressure dressing on the boy’s left leg, which resulted in his leg being amputated.

According to the plaintiff’s attorneys the failure by the medical staff to properly diagnose and treat a myriad of problems directly contributed to his current and future deficits. The large amount of the verdict implies that the Cook County jury agreed.

Chicago’s Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Cook County medical malpractice lawsuits for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Chicago, Des Plaines, Elmwood Park, Lisle, and Cicero.

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