A young girl and her family have reached a settlement agreement with a hospital after a delayed diagnosis lead to a quadruple amputation. The girl, then 8-years-old, had hurt her knee playing at school and eventually developed some unusual symptoms including severe pain in the same leg. When her family took her to the hospital it took doctors 24-hours to diagnose the girl with a blood infection known as sepsis.
During the time it took for doctors to give the girl a diagnosis and administer the antibiotics that she needed to survive, the infection had gotten worse. It quickly spread and caused organ damage and failure and gangrene in her limbs. Four amputations later the girl survived the ordeal but her life is changed forever.
Her mother said that she could tell something was wrong and was concerned about the treatment they were getting at the hospital. Doctors seemed confused, and in the middle of the night the day that they first arrived there they considered leaving and seeking treatment elsewhere.
The family decided to pursue a case against the hospital for negligence and medical malpractice so that they could be compensated for the tremendous costs (both past and present) associated with the injury. The eventual settlement amount of $32 million will help them move into a home that is fully handicap-accessible and it will give the girl access to the best technology in prosthetic limbs.
All patients who have been injured by a delayed diagnosis have a right to seek compensation for their injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Sepsis claimed girl’s limbs but not her spirit,” Stacy St. Clair, Jan. 2, 2014.