According to an article published by The Inquirer, the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia failed to determine why nine patients sustained fatal injuries during heart surgery. In February, The Inquirer reported that the death rate among infant heart-surgery patients at St. Christopher’s was almost triple the national average. One month later, a three-day surprise inspection took place at the North Philadelphia Hospital.
The report stated that in January, the hospital was ordered to stop performing all non-emergency heart surgeries. The hospital continues to hold pending an internal review. As of now, a submitted plan of correction has been approved by the state, but the procedures have yet to resume.
Jeffrey Jacobs, a leader of a countrywide effort to publicize surgical records as well as a chief of cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, explains that each fatality in surgery should be carefully examined in order to learn why the fatality occurred and to prevent similar fatalities in the future.
In a similar case, state investigators found that St. Christopher’s administered 10 times the proper dosage of chemo therapy to an 11-month-old child suffering from cancer. Reports state that this possibly fatal error went unobserved for five days. Although hospital officials stated that the errors were caused by inaccurate calculations, the news report elaborated on recent findings, stating that multiple clinicians failed to notice the symptoms of overdose.
The president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Michael Cohen, explained that these errors were exceptional and that it is rare that errors are as serious as this one in particular. He added that St. Christopher’s has now implemented protections against such errors from happening again.
Attorney Theresa Blanco, who has considerable experience handling medical malpractice cases involving pediatric cardiac issues, states that while parents may not be able to eliminate the risk of medical negligence, they can make informed decisions about finding treatment for their children:
I have handled more than two dozen heart surgery cases involving children in federal and state courts across the country. I have consulted on dozens of additional cases. The one common theme in all of these cases is surgical volume — the more surgeries a surgeon and hospital perform, the better the outcomes for the patients. As a parent, you want to know how many arterial switch operations your surgeon has performed in the last year five years, ten years. What are those outcomes? If he doesn’t want to have that discussion or the numbers are low, you should find someone who is more experienced to treat your child. Experience is everything.
Have You Been Affected by the Loss of a Loved One Due to Medical Negligence?
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one and have reason to believe that the fatality occurred due to the negligence of a medical professional, we urge you to get in touch with our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco right away. We can examine the details of your case and determine which legal actions can safeguard your rights. We understand that medical negligence cases often result in serious emotional hardships, and that is why we are here to provide experienced legal counsel and compassionate representation. When you entrust your case to our team, we will help you in the fight for justice and the pursuit of monetary compensation.
To discuss your case with a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, call our legal team at Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco.