On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Failure to Diagnose on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

An injury sustained at an elementary school playground recently sent a young student to the hospital. After what his parents claim was a failure to recognize symptoms of serious internal injuries, the young boy died. His family has since filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital and attending doctor for misdiagnosing their son.

Apparently, the boy fell onto concrete and hurt his back after he ran into a pole at his Texas school’s playground. Due to substantial back and abdominal pain, he was seen at a local children’s hospital later on that evening. Although a nurse noted that the boy was exceptionally pale and having a difficult time coping with the physical pain, his parents say that he was still misdiagnosed. Although one of the attending doctors did note that the boy’s pain might have been related to an internal injury, it was also believed that he could have simply been constipated or developing some sort of viral illness.

After tests were run, he received an X-ray of his abdomen, and it was determined that the boy was indeed constipated. His white blood count was also elevated. He received multiple enemas to help with the constipation and was also given something for vomiting before being discharged from the hospital. A mere four hours later he was dead.

Later on, an autopsy revealed that the boy suffered some substantial internal injuries, which included a kidney laceration and intestinal hemorrhage. His parents claim that the doctor and hospital were negligent in the treatment of their son and in their failure to recognize symptoms of his internal injuries. According to their lawsuit, the enemas that the doctors prescribed merely masked their son’s much more serious injury. They further allege that this ultimately led to his misdiagnosis and subsequently the young boy’s death. Although the emotional trauma that a Texas parent may experience over the loss of a child may never fully heal, a successfully settled medical malpractice claim can help the victim’s family find a sense of justice for the negligence that cost the life of a child.

Source: Dallas Business Journal, Children’s Medical, UT Southwestern named in malpractice suit after 6-year-old boy dies, Bill Hethcock, Feb. 24, 2014