Failing to Adequately Investigate & Protect Against Death
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Dec 13, 2016
St. Chris Hospital for Children Charged With Failing to Adequately Investigate – and Protect Against – Children’s Deaths
The death of a child is a tragic thing. In a hospital setting where a child is suffering from a terminal condition, death – despite the best efforts of healthcare professionals – may not be preventable. However, nine childhood deaths are unacceptable, and yet this is the precise number that St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located in north Philadelphia, is being accused of not only causing, but also of failing to adequately investigate.
Nine Children Lose Their Lives at North Philadelphia Hospital
The deaths of nine children in the hospital have raised concerns about the level of care within the hospital, as well as the presence of medical malpractice. In fact, the death rate amongst newborn heart surgery patients at St. Christopher’s is nearly triple the national average, and yet no one seems to know why.
But it is not just newborns undergoing heart surgery that are at risk; an 11-month-old was also administered 10 times the proper dose of chemotherapy, a potentially fatal error. In another case, a baby died at the hospital following a fatal accident with a life support machine; the accident occurred more than two months after the infant underwent surgery.
What’s Going on at St. Christopher’s?
The reasons for the high rate of injury and death at St. Christopher’s are unclear, and the hospital has been accused of failing to properly investigate the causes of injury and death. Further, the hospital has also refused to admit fault, instead repeating its goals of consistent and accurate data collection.
In the case of the baby who was given the incorrect dosage of chemotherapy, the error was reportedly missed by more than one hospital staff member. Despite the fact that the medicine was so highly concentrated that it led to the clogging of tubes at least three times over a five-day period, the hospital cannot provide any evidence that physicians or pharmacists were notified of the problem the first two times that it occurred. Records further demonstrate that at least five of the nurses who administered drugs to the patient were not qualified to do so.
In the cases of other infant deaths that resulted after heart surgeries, causes have yet to be determined. In one case, a jury concluded that the death of an infant – who was two days old at the time he underwent the operation – was caused by the anesthesiologist in the case giving the child an excessive amount of calcium.
High Rate of Death Unacceptable
At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we believe that St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, indeed all Philadelphia and New Jersey Hospitals, must make all efforts to fully investigate deaths and serious injuries, and where necessary make meaningful changes to protect against similar incidents in the future. If your child has been harmed or killed as the result of physician or hospital negligence, our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys will advocate for you. For your initial consultation to learn about your options, please contact us today online or by calling our law offices directly.