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Did surgical negligence and misdiagnoses almost kill 6-year-old?

Many Illinois residents receive routine medical procedures every day. Few people expect complications as a result of these procedures. However, for a 6-year-old girl, possible surgical negligence during a routine tonsillectomy and apparent subsequent misdiagnoses nearly killed her.

At some point after her surgery, the young girl began throwing up blood. Doctors misdiagnosed her with everything from allergies to tumors. For nearly three months, the girl hovered close to death. Then, a doctor finally diagnosed her correctly and treated her.

It turned out that, during a tonsillectomy, the surgeon somehow injured her main artery. As a result, she developed a racquetball size aneurysm in her throat. When the girl began to vomit blood, her mother took her to the hospital. The doctor who ultimately correctly diagnosed the problem explained that a breakthrough bleed of the artery could have resulted in her death. Now that the damage is repaired, her mother says the girl is now back to playing and running.

The 10 to 20 percent of diagnostic errors that occur cause a number of deaths or near deaths each year. Fortunately, in this case, the girl ultimately received the correct diagnosis and recovered. However, the fact that she and her family had to endure the situation in the first place is due to another issue.

Surgical negligence ultimately led to three months of incorrect diagnoses and the stress and fear of losing a child. Sadly, some Illinois parents may be familiar with this mother's plight. When something goes wrong with a surgical procedure, victims and their families may choose to assess their right to file medical malpractice claims seeking an award for damages incurred as a result of the error, as in this case.

Source:, "A Misdiagnosis Endangers a Little Girl's Life", , May 6, 2014

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