Pediatric Emergency Medicine: Legal Briefs
The patient's family sued the treating physicians and claimed that the intra-abdominal lacerations were caused by the fall from the ladder and that they bled slowly for 2 days. The family also claimed that the radiologist was negligent for failing to review the spine x-rays, which would have helped her recognize that there was blood in the abdomen. The family further alleged that the emergency physician failed to suspect intra-abdominal bleeding on examination and failed to order a STAT abdominal CT and a trauma consult. The emergency physician denied that the standard of care required her to order a STAT CT and a trauma surgery consult because there was no indication that the patient hit his abdomen in the fall and his vital signs were stable in the ED. The radiologist contended that she did not know that the patient had fallen from a height and that she was only asked to rule out a hip fracture. The defendant physicians claimed that the internal lacerations were caused by aggressive cardiopulmonary resuscitation after the cardiac arrest in the ICU.
A jury found in favor of the family and awarded them $1.27 million in damages.
Unknown County, Illinois Circuit Court, No. 13L-843.