Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has agreed to pay out $26 million and $12.75 million to the families of two children who were paralyzed following heart surgery. Both families have struggled to care for their now permanently disabled children. A settlement in the amount of $750,000 is also in the works for a third family whose child died after undergoing heart surgery at the hospital, and a fourth family whose daughter died following a heart transplant is expected to receive $2.35 million. Over a year ago,
How Did the Story Regarding Botched Children’s Heart Surgeries Break?
The Center for Health Journalism reported how the Tampa Bay Times obtained the information regarding this spike: Children who had at least one congenital heart surgery were identified, then those who had complications or died were also identified. The data told a “stunning” story—that one in 10 heart surgery patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital had died in 2017. This number was almost three times the statewide average, with complication rates surging as well. The hospital also suspended all heart surgeries at All Children’s while the department was being restructured.
All Children’s CEO Claims Families of Children Who Underwent Heart Procedures Have Been Contacted
This past June, the CEO for All Children’s, Kevin Sowers, told the Tampa Bay Times this past June, that he had reached out to the families of the children who underwent heart surgeries at All Children’s and subsequently suffered injury or death. “We made a mistake, and we need to make sure we help support these families and make it right,” Sowers stated.
Sowers also admitted that additional settlements are expected, stating last February that All Children’s was currently in negotiation with 11 families and that in most of those cases, the hospital had admitted liability. Most of the families currently involved in these negotiations were unaware of safety issues at the children’s cardiac unit until they were approached by reporters in 2018. Prior to the investigation by the Times, many of those parents claimed they had “struggled” to find attorneys willing to take their cases.
Malpractice Settlements Often Involve Nondisclosure Clauses
Many malpractice settlements involve a nondisclosure clause which prohibits the patients, their family member, or other representatives from discussing the settlement publicly. In this case, an online database recorded the basic details of the cases, and while the names of the patients were not listed, the Times was able to match the settlements to two patients previously featured in the newspaper’s report.
According to those details, the $26 million settlement was for a male child who suffered brain damage and the loss of his limbs after a heart transplant done in 2017. In this case, a stitch that held the tissues together following the heart surgery apparently broke, resulting in internal bleeding and a massive stroke. Prior to the surgery, the five-year-old rode horses and played soccer—following the surgery, he has been unable to walk, speak, or feed himself.
The $12.75 million settlement allegedly went to a three-year-old female patient who had heart surgery at All Children’s in 2016. Following the surgery, the girl suffered internal bleeding and a stroke, resulting in the loss of the use of her limbs, as well as severe brain damage. The girl’s family shared her medical records with the Tampa Times; those records showed the chance of complications was less than three percent.
Getting the Help You Need Following an Instance of Medical Malpractice
It is likely there will be more settlements in the future from Johns Hopkins All Children’s hospital, related to children’s heart surgeries. Families of children who were harmed during a heart surgery procedure can almost always benefit from financial help while their claim is pending. Your ability to receive treatment for injuries, and assistance with disability expenses, can, unfortunately, be limited. Help can come from USClaims. At USClaims, pre-settlement funding can help pay those unexpected expenses in anticipation of a court judgment or settlement. Call 1-877-USCLAIMS today for the information you need and deserve.