Child Dies During Sleep Study, Parents Sue Texas Hospital

Parents who take their child to the hospital are entrusting that child's life to the doctors and medical staff that are caring for the child. While many children get the diagnostic tests and treatments they need without any ill effects, there are some instances in which these seemingly normal procedures do cause lasting harm. One recent event at Texas Children's Hospital shows just how tragic something as simple as a sleep study can turn.

The 9-month-old girl was having a sleep study done at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus when things took a horrible turn. As part of a sleep study, electrodes are attached to the patient so body function and brain activity can be monitored as the patient sleeps. The patient is watched on a closed circuit camera while a technician monitors the patient's vital signs.

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In the case of this little girl, it wasn't the people monitoring the child who noticed there was a problem. Instead, her mother is the one who first noticed that her daughter was turning cold and that her body was losing skin color, according to the lawsuit. The staff worked for 22 minutes to resuscitate the little girl, but the damage was already done. The little girl had suffered a massive brain injury. Her parents ultimately decided to remove her from life support. The little girl died on April 12.

The girl suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome, but the family's lawyer insists that the syndrome wasn't life-threatening. Prader-Willi Syndrome causes delayed development and poor growth.

The family has opted to pursue legal action against the hospital. They have already asked a court for a temporary restraining order that would require the hospital to preserve the video of the sleep study, preserve the room where the girl was so experts can examine it and preserve the equipment used in her treatment. A hearing wasn't necessary for that because the hospital agreed to those requests.

Losing a child is something that no parent should experience, especially if the death is caused by medical error or negligence. Gathering evidence and ensuring you have the proper documentation can help anyone who is seeking compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.

Source: Click2Houston.com, "Parents sue Texas Childrens Hospital after infant daughter dies during sleep study" Phil Archer, Apr. 15, 2014

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