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Parents allege hospital negligence in child's chemo treatment

When Illinois parents have a sick child, they are relying on medical professionals to correctly diagnose and treat their child. When something goes wrong, however, such as a medication error, the child's life is put into jeopardy. Parents would be within their rights to file a hospital negligence claim for the damage done and additional medical care that may be required to correct the mistake, along with other damages.

The parents of an 11-month-old baby in another state may exercise that right in the aftermath of a drug overdose given to their child. The baby was suffering from an unusual type of cancer. Doctors recommended a course of chemotherapy that included a medication called etoposide. The ordinary way of calculating the dosage of this medication was not used since the patient is a baby. This means that it had to be manually calculated.

When that was done, the Philadelphia baby ended up receiving nearly 10 times the dosage he should have received. The overdose is being blamed on a misplaced decimal point. The boy was supposed to receive a dose of 3.3 mg per kilogram of his weight, but received 33 mg per kilogram instead. The baby received the incorrect dosage five times before the mistake was identified. Reports indicate that he could suffer life-threatening problems with his bone marrow, kidneys and/or liver.

A letter to the parents outlined the hospital negligence that led to the baby's current health issues. The parents may use that letter of apology to help establish negligence in a medical malpractice claim. If successfully proved, the family could be awarded damages similar to those that might be awarded in a similar case here in Illinois.

Source: articles.philly.com, "Phila. baby's chemo overdose could point to safety lessons", Marie McCullough, Oct. 28, 2015

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