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Medical Malpractice?: Girl Now Brain Dead After Tonsillectomy to Stay on Life Support

A court has ruled that Jai McMath, the 13-year-old girl who was declared brain dead following complications from a tonsillectomy, can stay hooked up to a ventilator for at least another week. The decision was issued right before the 8pm, ET deadline Monday for when Children’s Hospital & Research Center would have been allowed to remove her from the machines that are keeping her alive. The tragedy could be reason for the family to pursue a medical malpractice case.

McMath, who had her tonsils, extra sinus tissue, and adenoids removed at the California hospital earlier this month, had been alert and was even talking after the procedure, which doctors had recommended she undergo to treat her sleep apnea. Soon after, however, the teenager started to bleed excessively and experienced cardiac arrest. Medical professionals have officially declared her dead.

Now, however, McMath’s family is fighting to keep her alive in the event that she somehow recovers. Her mother says that when she talks to the young girl, her body responds to the sound of her voice.

Medical Malpractice
In Massachusetts, our Boston medical malpractice lawyers represent the families of children who suffered serious health complications or injuries or who died because of medical mistakes and negligence. Please contact Altman & Altman, LLP today to ask for your free case assessment.

Tonsillectomy
The American Academy of Otolaryngology says that a tonsillectomy is the number three most common medical procedure performed on kids in the US. Circumcision and ear tubes are number one and two. A tonsillectomy is considered a common surgical procedure.

That said, routine surgeries aren’t guaranteed to be completely safe. Mistakes can happen and there may be complications. CNN says that a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety a few months ago notes that medical mistakes kill 200,000 annually, making them the number three cause of death in this nation.

Errors that can be reason for pursuing a Boston medical negligence case:
• Performing the right procedure on the wrong patient • Accidentally leaving surgical instruments in a patient’s body • Diagnosing the patient too late • Making the wrong diagnosis • Delayed treatment-i.e. performing an emergency cesarean too late • Leaving air bubbles in the patient’s blood
Court blocks hospital from disconnecting Jahi McMath from life support, CNN, December 30, 2013

Journal of Patient Safety

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Medford Doctor Accused of Massachusetts Medical Negligence Gets License Suspension, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 14, 2013
Mirena IUD Lawsuits Continue to Make Their Way into the Courts, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 13, 2013