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Did emergency room errors cause death of 7-year-old?

No parent in Massachusetts -- or anywhere else -- should have to watch the life drain out of his or her child. Sadly, that is what one out-of-state mother was forced to do in August 2010. A precautionary trip to the hospital after a household accident led to what the mother says were emergency room errors that killed her son.

The then 7-year-old boy was outside playing, got dirty and went in to take a bath. The first time his mother came in to check on him, she instructed him to refill the tub with clean water. She then went outside to talk and drink a cup of coffee with her father.

Shortly thereafter, her son's friend got into the bath with him, and that is when something went wrong. The boy's friend came running out to get her because her son was not breathing. The woman's daughter had already managed to drag the boy out of the tub, and his grandfather got him breathing again by using CPR. The ambulance was already on the way, so it was decided that he should go to the hospital to be sure that he was okay.

By the time he got to the hospital, the boy needed to be intubated. The first time he was intubated, he was not getting adequate oxygen. By then, it had been some time since he had received any oxygen. He was flown to another hospital, but his mother could see that he was not going to make it. He died the next day.

The family filed a lawsuit against the hospital for medical malpractice, claiming emergency room errors killed her son. The hospital claims otherwise, but medical experts say the lack of oxygen to his brain caused his death. Hopefully, no Massachusetts parent ever has to go through what this family went through. However, medical personnel make mistakes just like anyone else. If those mistakes result in the death of a loved one, the victim's family has the right to file a lawsuit against the party or parties deemed responsible for that death.

Source: fox17online.com, "Family Files Lawsuit Against West Michigan Hospital After Son's Death", Jessica McMaster, June 25, 2014

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