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Obtaining justice

When a medical emergency hits, what better place for a patient to be than in the hospital? While the answer might be obvious in theory, it is less so in reality sometimes.

A young man was recently awarded $8 million in a medical malpractice suit filed far from Huntington. The man was just 14 years old when his mom died in the winter of 2009 in a Chicago hospital.

According to the lawsuit, her death was caused by a systematic failure at Mount Sinai Hospital to deliver the emergency care the woman needed. The woman was given sedation at the facility, but went immediately into a health crisis, triggering a "code blue" at the hospital.

In many hospitals, the code refers to cardiopulmonary arrest, WebMD states. Hospitals typically have a trained team of medical professionals that includes a doctor to rapidly respond to these crises. 

According to the lawsuit, 7 minutes lapsed from the beginning of the woman's medical emergency to when efforts to resuscitate her started. Those precious minutes resulted in irreversible brain damage, the plaintiff maintained -- damage from which she died.

The jury took less than a day to decide in favor of the young man.

"This was the right outcome. It is unacceptable for a hospital to not have an organized code blue system to provide for the timely resuscitation of its patients," his attorney told a TV station reporter. The lawyer added that his law firm was honored to be allowed "to obtain justice" in the matter.


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