Child Deaths Result in Negligence Lawsuit Against Hospital
The families of two young children who died after undergoing open-heart surgery at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas filed lawsuits against the hospital and Wilson Chu, the director of its pharmacy. The lawsuit claims negligence on the part of the hospital due to the purchase of a cardiac drug from an unaccredited compounding pharmacy. New England Compounding Center The lawsuit claims that Sunrise Hospital purchased contaminated cardioplegia solution from New England Compounding Center (NECC), the same company linked to the outbreak of fungal meningitis that caused 64 deaths last year. Zacharie Rood-Sucharzewski, 6, and Ari Thomas Gomez, 4, died of infections within a month after their respective surgeries in which the solution was used. The families learned of the infected solutions in letters dated October 18, 2012, indicating that the drugs given to their sons may have been contaminated. Hospital Should Have Known The families claim that hospital personnel should have known of the risks associated with using any compounds obtained from NECC, and that had standard procedures been followed, personnel would have discovered the contamination before the drugs were administered. Cardioplegia solution is used during complicated heart surgeries to stop cardiac activity. The lawsuit states that the solution used during the children’s surgeries was recalled by NECC after widespread bacterial and fungal contamination were found throughout its facility in Framingham, Mass. Cost Savings The families are particularly upset that the hospital chose to purchase compounds from NECC as a cost-saving measure. The lawsuits say that “cheaper pricing” was the primary reason the hospital and the director of pharmacy chose to continue using NECC products despite reports of problems with other compounds from its facility. In addition, lawyers discovered that Sunrise used false names on prescription order forms to purchase items from NECC in bulk, a violation of Massachusetts state law. When medical malpractice is suspected as the cause or a contributing factor in a patient’s death, a medical malpractice claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to arrange a free initial consultation regarding a death where medical malpractice may be to blame.