Case Archive
Ref. # 95928

A 22 month old Alabama girl suffering from a 105-degree fever and vomiting was seen at her pediatrician's office on two occasions two days apart. On the second visit she was diagnosed with a viral syndrome and admitted to the nearby major hospital for IV hydration. The next morning she was found in distress and given IV antibiotics and anti-seizure medications. She died shortly thereafter from pneumococcal sepsis. A medQuest pediatrician found negligence during the girl's second visit to the pediatrician's office. Her documented symptoms of white blood cell count over 15,000, high fever and ill appearance are indicative of bacteremia 13% of the time. Most pediatricians would have started antibiotics immediately. Timely diagnosis and treatment would have prevented the girl's death.

Ref. # 01918

A two year old Kansas girl underwent surgery for removal of a tumor in the right anterior/lateral chest wall. Post-op she did well and was discharged with an indwelling drain from the chest wall. Three days later she was taken to her pediatrician due to persistent vomiting, diarrhea and an unusual rash. An exam suggested post-op viral syndrome. The next day the child's mother phoned the pediatrician that the child was completely limp. The pediatrician stated that if the child's temperature were 99 and if she were still drinking water, everything was fine. The mother cancelled a follow-up appointment with the pediatric surgeon because the child was too sick. The next night the parents phoned the pediatrician's office and stated that the child was breathing abnormally. A nurse stated that was normal for a patient breaking a fever. The parents observed discoloration of the child's hands and feet, and abnormal eye movement. They took her to the hospital, where she died several hours later due to staph aureus-coagulase positive sepsis. A medQuest pediatrician opined that the pediatrician negligently failed to perform a complete physical exam, contact the pediatric surgeon, and order appropriate tests based on the communicated symptoms. Additionally, the pediatric surgeon negligently failed to perform a follow-up exam, address the cancellation of such an exam, and provide appropriate discharge instructions. The child's death was preventable.

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