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Queens boy dies after doctors ignored symptoms of septic shock

A young boy from Queens died of septic shock in April. Months later, his family says his death was directly related to one hospital's misdiagnosis and serious negligence.

The 11-year-old cut his arm during basketball practice on March 28. He and his family thought little of it. However, he woke up the next morning with a fever of 104. He was vomiting and had pain in his leg.

He was taken to his pediatrician's office. However, his doctor said the cut on his arm was nothing to worry about. He was sent to the emergency room at NYU Langone Medical Center to be treated for dehydration. At the hospital, doctors determined he was suffering from a simple stomach bug and sent him home.

By the next morning, the 11-year-old had become severely ill. He was taken back to the emergency room and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. His condition continued to worsen. His heart had to be restarted on two separate occasions. The 11-year-old died during doctor's third attempt to resuscitate him.

The young boy's family believes doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center as well as his pediatrician ignored the signs of septic shock. The family has asked the hospital and the pediatrician to acknowledge their negligent care.

This story is a tragic example of what can happen when doctors do not provide patients with proper care. Had the doctors in the emergency room recognized the young boy's grave condition, he likely would still be alive today.

It is unclear how this specific case will turn out. However, New York City residents who are harmed because of a doctor's negligent care may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical professionals who are careless should be held responsible.

Source: The New York Times, "An Infection, Unnoticed, Turns Unstoppable," Jim Dwyer, July 11, 2012

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