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Death of New York teen caused by medical malpractice

The health of a child is often a parent's top priority. Generally, parents have no choice but to trust medical professionals to keep their children safe, whether in New York or anywhere else in the nation. Sadly, though, sometimes healthcare professionals fail to exercise the degree of care and skill required to prevent the serious injury or death of child. If either of these occur, a medical malpractice claim could result.

A recent example lies in a malpractice suit against Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that was filed by the parents of a teenage boy who collapsed and died in 2014. DHMC attempted to have the case dismissed, claiming that because the deceased teenager named in the suit and the boy's parents are from a different state, they lack standing to file the suit. However, a federal judge ruled the lawsuit will proceed in U.S. District Court.

The deceased was diagnosed with a benign calcified cyst on his left kidney at age seven and had follow-up examinations throughout his youth. When, on May 1, 2014, he began urinating blood, he underwent an ultrasound in the Emergency department of DHMC. Court records report that doctors there declared the kidney stable and failed to perform an extensive workup, discharging the teen the same day.

Two months later, the youth collapsed suddenly and died. Autopsy results revealed that a piece of a large, malignant tumor on the left kidney had broken off, passing into the boy's heart and lungs. The lawsuit claims that images from the previous ultrasound showed a large mass on his left kidney, and the plaintiffs allege that had these results been properly interpreted, the malignant tumor could have been removed. Proper treatment likely could have prevented the pulmonary embolism that caused the boy's death. Anyone in New York who has similarly suffered the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice will surely empathize with the grieving parents' desire to pursue legal justice.

Source:, "Malpractice suit against Dartmouth-Hitchcock will proceed in federal court", Pat Grossmith, Jan. 24, 2017

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