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Preventable Medical Negligence Leaves Three-Year-Old Patient Brain Damaged

At a hospital in Georgia, a pediatric ICU nurse gave an intubated three-year-old a bed bath. What should have been a simple task soon turned into a parent’s worst nightmare. The nurse ignored hospital protocol and the standard of care, which required two nurses to turn the pediatric patient safely on his side. She hastily bathed the child without a second nurse, resulting in a horrific but preventable outcome for the patient. The young boy’s endotracheal tube became dislodged, cutting his oxygen off for more than thirty minutes. His heart stopped, and his tiny face turned blue as he suffocated from lack of air. By the time hospital staff replaced the breathing tube, the toddler had suffered such catastrophic brain damage that he could no longer see, talk, or lead an everyday life.

The child was initially admitted to the hospital by his parents after sustaining terrible burns in a house fire. Staff opted to intubate him so that he healed properly. Because the nurse didn’t follow hospital protocol, the breathing apparatus moved slightly from its original position inside the trachea. The tube movement prevented oxygen from flowing into the child’s lungs. The young patient suffocated for a total of 32 minutes. Hospital staff called a code blue and scrambled to recover from their mistake, but the damage was done.

Chuck Pardue of Chuck Pardue Law, an attorney specializing in medical malpractice, took the case after being contacted by the child’s parents one week after the incident. Chuck met with the family and decided to move forward with the case. He consulted with experts, including pediatric neurologists, pediatric ICU experts, and nursing staff. Then, Chuck dug into the hospital’s ICU protocol and medical records.

Chuck realized the Defense would use the jumble of medical records to confuse the jury and cover up the hospital’s negligence. Potential jurors needed to visualize the timeline of events and how each event contributed to the child’s injuries. Thus, Chuck contacted DK Global for the demonstrative. DK Global took affidavits from medical experts and created an animation illustrating how the incident occurred.

The animation opened by showing the child in the ICU wearing a breathing apparatus and a nurse attempting to bathe him. From there, the presentation shifted to a skeletal view of the child’s body to show how the tube had moved inside his trachea. Next, the video depicted an alarm going off and a respiratory therapist entering the room to assist with a breathing bag that failed to seal. After calling the code blue, the doctor entered to re-intubate the child. DK Global placed a running clock on the visual, showing how the child had been without oxygen for 32 minutes and turned blue.

The video also presented excerpts from the hospital’s protocol, showing how staff had failed to follow proper procedures. The animation then displayed visuals from the child’s brain scans, highlighting where the damage brain occurred. To close, the presentation wrapped up with a view of the child in the ICU and a list of his injuries, including his inability to walk and talk, his need to be fed through a G-tube, that he would require diapers for the rest of his life, and that he would require 24-hour nursing care for an estimated 50 years.

The visual DK Global created provided overwhelming evidence that the hospital staff had been negligent while caring for the child. The compelling nature of the video helped Chuck prove that the toddler’s injuries were preventable. Ultimately, Chuck and his team persuaded the Defense to settle for $10,000,000 in favor of his client.

Chuck Pardue of Chuck Pardue Law in Augusta, Georgia, specializes in medical malpractice, personal injury, probate, and divorce cases. He is a Vietnam veteran, former JAG, and retired Lieutenant Colonel. Chuck has more than 30 years of military and civilian law experience. He has obtained over $100,000,000 in medical malpractice settlements for his military and civilian clients. Chuck is a past president of the Augusta-Aiken Federal Bar Association and is a supporter of the Disabled American Veterans, receiving several awards for his admirable work.

"In the past, I've always used lifecare plans. But with animations, that really puts another exponential level of proof that helps cases get settled or obtaining a favorable verdict."
Chuck Pardue - Chuck Pardue Law
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