Visitor Question

Virus after premature birth?

Submitted By: Tiara (Cincinnati, OH)

My daughter was born at 36 weeks premature. She weighed 4.5 lbs and had a single artery umbilical cord. We were both sent home after four days in the hospital. Six weeks later she caught Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and pneumonia and was hospitalized for six weeks.

Two weeks into her inpatient stay, we found out her lungs were premature and underdeveloped. The damage done from the virus to her lungs ultimately took her life. We were never told her lungs weren’t healthy when she was born. We feel the hospital missed the diagnosis that caused her death. Is this a form a malpractice? Do we have a case?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Tiara,

Whether or not you have the basis of a medical malpractice claim will be entirely dependent upon proof malpractice occurred. Proof will include expert testimony of a misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose.

Med mal claims should never be handled without legal representation from an experienced attorney. Accusations of malpractice are taken very seriously by doctors and the hospitals where they have privileges. To prevail in a medical malpractice case, your attorney will have to file a lawsuit.

A lawsuit is necessary because the doctors who treated your child and the hospital will assuredly not admit to having committed any kind of negligence. To do so would be a blight in their respective records, and would give rise to others who may feel they or their children suffered the same misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose.

Gather copies of all your child’s medical bills, receipts for medications, and all medical records, and seek out several attorneys in your area who specialize in medical malpractice claims.

Most med mal attorneys will not charge a prospective client for an initial office consultation. Once you’ve visited with several attorneys, you will have a much better idea about the viability of your case on behalf of your late child.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 20, 2014

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