Sommers Schwartz attorneys Kenneth Watkins and Richard Groffsky secured a confidential $1.5 million settlement for parents whose child died from complications following an improperly placed umbilical vein catheter (UVC). The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death action against the pediatricians, pediatric radiologists, and hospital nurses who treated the infant during the period in question.
The infant and his twin brother were delivered prematurely by cesarean section in October 2017. A UVC was placed in the infant’s chest and abdominal area due to anticipated feeding and bowel difficulties. Over several days post-delivery, the infant did not have a bowel movement and his urine output consistently declined, despite an increase in fluids administered through the UVC. The infant also displayed shallow breathing, accompanied by grunting and flinching when his abdomen was touched.
An ultrasound showed a large volume of fluid in the infant’s abdomen. The fluid was aspirated, and he was intubated for respiratory support. A subsequent X-ray showed the location of UVC tip over the infant’s liver. Nursing notes indicated the UVC line was then discontinued and, although the abdominal fluid had been aspirated the previous day, the abdomen had again become distended and he flinched when his abdomen was touched.
An ultrasound of the kidneys was performed and showed concerns for renal ischemia and tubular necrosis. From this point, the infant underwent numerous medical procedures, including surgery to repair a perforated bowel. The infant died five months later in March 2018.
The lawsuit alleged that had the UVC been properly placed or timely replaced or removed, he likely would have survived with proper monitoring and been discharged from the hospital with no permanent injuries. The plaintiffs sought damages for pain, suffering, and economic loss caused by the defendants’ various acts of medical malpractice.
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