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Girl suffers severe brain injury after medical mistake

Kids in Houston, who have serious medical conditions, often have to spend a large amount of time in the hospital. Instead of getting to play with no worries in the world, they are trapped in hospitals, frequent doctor visits, therapy sessions and other medical circumstances. When a lifetime of serious medical concerns is caused by a physician error, the results can be tragic for families and victims alike.

A Washington state girl, after being given the wrong advice by her cardiologists, suffered a severe brain injury. While being treated for a heart defect, which she was born with, the young girl came down with a cold. Her mother consulted with her cardiologists about what would help. A miscommunication between two doctors caused them to prescribe a nasal spray that led to the girl not being able to breath. This led to a prolonged period of insufficient oxygen, and the girl suffered a severe brain injury.

Although she did have a heart defect and had a heart transplant before this incident occurred, she was almost caught up to her peers physically. After the brain injury occurred, she completely lost her ability to walk, talk or swallow and will require around the clock long-term care for the rest of her life. Because of this physician error, her family filed a lawsuit against the hospital and was awarded $15 million, which will help with the child's medical expenses.

Brain injuries are often very serious and debilitating for victims. Since the brain controls a person's abilities, the injuries can result in a lifetime of rehabilitation and care. This therapy and medical help can cost families an exorbitant amount of money. If the brain injury was caused by physician error, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be able to help families recuperate some of the costs of the long-term care needed for their loved ones.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "UW to pay $15M after medical mistake," July 13, 2013.

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