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Girl who suffered severe brain damage awarded $15 million

Childhood is supposed to be a carefree and happy time. In fact, the biggest concern for most eight-year-olds in Ohio revolves around what game to play or friend to play with. The life of one eight-year-old girl was forever altered after she suffered a cardiac arrest which resulted in her brain being deprived of oxygen and extensive brain damage.

The girl's parents were recently awarded a $15 million dollar settlement after they filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the university and university hospital where the girl was treated. According to court documents, a doctor who was employed at the university hospital, advised that the girl be given an over-the-counter nasal spray for nasal congestion she was experiencing.

For a normal and healthy child, such a recommendation would be appropriate. For a child with a heart condition, however, the administration of a nasal spray is a known and potentially lethal health risk. The eight-year-old girl in question had previously undergone a heart transplant which was known to the doctor who subsequently recommended the nasal spray.

According to court documents, almost immediately upon administering the nasal spray, the girl went into cardiac arrest. The young girl's brain was deprived of oxygen for an extended period causing her to suffer irreversible and severe brain damage.

Today, the girl is unable to walk, talk or eat. She is fed through a feeding tube and requires round-the-clock assistance. While nothing can heal the girl's brain or restore her physical abilities, the monies recovered via the medical malpractice lawsuit will help provide for the medical care she'll require for the duration of her life.

Source: Universtiy Hearld, "Washington University to pay $15 million in a Medical Malpractice Settlemetn that Left Girl Disabled," Stephen Adkins, July 13, 2013

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