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Wayne Parsons
Wayne Parsons
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Legal Case Study: Emergency Medicine – Failure to Properly Treat Infant Fever – Anoxic Brain Injury

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In this unfortunate case a 1‑month‑old child experienced a fever of 101.3 degrees. Her parents took her to a hospital emergency room where she underwent chest X‑ray, urinalysis and blood work. The child was later discharged with a diagnosis of neonatal febrile illness.

Subsequently the child suffered from seizures and oxygen deprivation and developed sepsis. As a result the child also suffered anoxic brain damage and died of complications of her condition almost five years later.

In this case the internist who treated the child in the emergency room negligently discharged her despite the fact that her urinalysis showed the presence of E.coli. A fever in a newborn requires administration of antibiotics and hospital admission.

Make sure if you take a young child to the hospital with a fever that you insist upon the administration of antibiotics and hospital admission or a good explanation as to why you should not be concerned that the child is suffering from an in‑utero infection.