As most Virginia parents know, children can often provide challenging moments, and sometimes, these moments include dealing with injuries and illnesses. In most of these situations, a parent will take his or her child to a physician, with the assumption that that person will provide an accurate diagnosis and will do whatever is necessary to reduce or eliminate the pain or discomfort the child is feeling. Unfortunately, in some cases, a trusted professional will overlook crucial details during an examination, and occasionally, the results are tragic. In a recent example, a baby died when doctors failed to notice a foreign object in his throat, and his parents recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In Dec. 2017, the boy’s mother took him to a medical center for his one-year wellness checkup. According to the lawsuit, the mother informed the doctor that her son had been persistently wheezing for several days prior to the appointment. The doctor concluded that the diagnosis could be one of several possibilities, including a cold or asthma. She prescribed steroids and recommended the patient return two weeks later.

During the follow-up visit at the same clinic, the mother noted only a slight improvement in the wheezing. A different doctor examined the boy and prescribed an inhaler for asthma. The lawsuit states that on Jan. 17, 2018, the mother took the boy to a different clinic since his wheezing had worsened. Doctors ordered a chest X-ray which revealed an esophageal blockage from a swallowed foreign object. The baby underwent surgery later that day, during which a metal bracket was successfully removed from his throat; however, reportedly, the boy died on Feb. 4, 2018 due to related complications.

The lawsuit names the first medical facility visited, its foundation and the physicians who examined and diagnosed the patient during the first two appointments, accusing all parties of negligence. In Virginia, people who feel they have also been victims of medical negligence have the right to pursue the matter through the civil justice system. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review individual case details and recommend the best course of action moving forward.