A recently released medical journal report is shedding a bright light on the deaths of five children several years ago, and has opened the door for potential lawsuits. The report details the deaths of the children that occurred in 2008 and 2009 and has caused quite a stir, raising questions about whether these deaths could have been prevented.
Five children that were in the care of a Louisiana children’s hospital died after contracting mucormycosis, a disease originating from fungi found in soil and on leaves. The children ranged in ages from infant to teenager and suffered from immune deficiency illness prior to being exposed to the fungal disease. According to the report, the fungus somehow made its way to the hospital linens where the children became exposed to it, contracting the disease and later dying due to complications.
The hospital is claiming that the disease would not have been fatal to healthy children but because these children already had compromised immune systems, it could have contributed to their deaths. However, the hospital does not believe it was the primary cause of the deaths nor do they believe that there was any negligence involved.
The family of one of the children that died after contracting the disease has filed a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice and is accusing the hospital of negligence. This is an ongoing case and both sides are looking further into the details of deaths and the information that was released in the medical journal.
Depending on the outcome of this case and the details released, it could open up the door for the other families to pursue lawsuits for hospital negligence as well. Although the facility is currently claiming no negligence, others in the health care field have criticized the hospital for keeping the details of the deaths quiet for so long.
Not releasing the information to the families and general public prior to recently puts some suspicion on the hospital but hopefully this medical malpractice claim will help determine whether there was negligence involved and possibly provide the families some much needed closure.
Source: WDSU News, “Medical article sheds light on child deaths at Uptown hospital,” Andy Cunningham, April 16, 2014