Medical Malpractice Possible in Fatal Fungal Outbreak at Hospital

When children fall ill, most parents will do whatever it takes to make them healthy again. Sometimes there may be an undetected source of harm that their medical professionals fail to notice. Connecticut families may be interested in the story of one out-of-state children’s hospital that neglected to contain a fungal outbreak that claimed the lives of several of its patients. In situations like these, a medical malpractice claim could be filed due to the death of a child.

The fungal outbreak allegedly was caused by infected hospital linens that were not properly treated. Investigators report that the laundry service that cleaned the linens may have had mold in its facility and did not have proper ventilation filters. The outbreak may also have spread due to the mishandling of linens at the hospital. Since the infection was discovered, the hospital has taken measures to sanitize affected areas of the hospital, but this all comes too late for several families who now mourn the losses of their children.

The fungus infects patients with lowered immunity, as was the case with a baby they believe to be the first victim. The hospital reportedly failed to scrutinize the infection because the infant had another severe condition they believed to be the cause of his death. Four other children were infected in the months following, but the hospital did not connect the deaths. One boy underwent more than 20 surgeries before finally succumbing to the infection.

If a situation like this were to happen in Connecticut, a medical malpractice claim against the hospital or anyone else deemed responsible could be pursued. If it was successful, the claim may result in monetary compensation that could be useful in covering unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses and other costs. It is important that families know that there are ways to hold those responsible accountable for their negligence.

Source: The New York Times, “A Deadly Fungus and Questions at a Hospital“, Ian Urbina and Sheri Fink, April 28, 2014