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Hospital sued after surgical error causes teen's brain damage

When parents take their children to the hospital for a routine medical procedure, the last thing they would expect is for a medical mistake to result in lifelong consequences. Sadly, this type of event happens from time to time in hospitals in Georgia and the rest of the country. There have been mistakes with simple medical procedures, from routine exams to minor surgery, that have had tragic results.

Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York is being sued for medical malpractice by the parents of a 19-year-old girl, after a procedure went wrong and the results were disastrous. In January, after the teen reported stomach pain, her parents took her to the hospital where she was given a routine endoscopy--a procedure during which a small camera is fed down the throat. After 20 minutes, the girl’s heart rate and blood pressure decreased oxygen to her brain and resulted in permanent damage--an incident that could have been prevented, said the family’s attorney.

The parents are suing the hospital for an unspecified amount. The girl, once a college freshman and cheerleader, now lives in a long-term care facility. Among her permanent disabilities are loss of sight, movement, and communication. Her parents say that the care of their daughter has drained their finances.

A family should not have to shoulder the financial burden of long-term medical expenses by themselves, especially if the mistake was preventable. A personal injury attorney may be necessary to help prove the mistake was caused by negligence or carelessness.

Source: NBC New York, “Family Sues Hospital for Negligence After Daughter Left Brain-Damaged,” Tracie Strahan, May 6, 2013

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