Teen Loses Four Limbs to Stale Vaccine Given as a Child

For those who do not like to get shots, this story will make you even more wary. Stale, dated vaccines are a serious issue.

This reported medical negligence case strikes close to home for many Americans who do not like getting needles, or who are afraid of something bad happening after they get a shot. That is precisely what happened in this instance; a young teen lost both arms and legs as the result of a vaccination error made 13 years ago.

Here is what happened. When Jane Doe was born, she had intestinal problems. As a result of that, her spleen and some other organs were removed. This meant that since the spleen filters bacteria and incipient viruses, she needed medications to prevent infections. With that information, her mother took her daughter to the medical school’s pediatric unit for a checkup in 1998.

A medical assistant injected her daughter with a special concoction designed to protect those without spleens. Unfortunately, the vaccine had expired five months before it was given. In other words, this case boiled down to medical negligence, a medication error. Eight months after the injection, the little girl became deathly ill with a bacterial infection; an infection that promoted the formation of blood clots in her arms and legs. This led to gangrene and the emergency amputation of her arms and legs above the joints. The girl contracted the very disease she was supposed to have been inoculated against.

The jury awarded $12.6 million, an award that will be cut nearly in half, as the jury also found the mother to be 40 percent at fault. The reason the jury assessed a 40 percent fault to the mother was based on an argument made by defense counsel that suggested the baby would have become sick despite the expired vaccine. A medical expert testified the mother had not given her enough medication to help her fend off the infection.

Medical negligence comes in many forms, and medication errors are just one of those forms. For any individual who has had a bad outcome in a medical situation, they need to speak with a qualified, competent Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are exceedingly difficult for everyone, and often take a long time to be resolved. This case took 13 years to be determined.

However, one thing should be noted, and that is not all instances of a bad medical outcome are classified as medical malpractice. This is the main reason why it is crucial to discuss your case details with an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer to get an idea if you have a case. The lawyer is able to explain what constitutes malpractice and whether or not your situation may be one of malpractice or not.

Christopher Mellino is a Cleveland Malpractice Lawyer specializing in Cleveland Medical Malpractice cases in Ohio. To learn more, visit Christophermellino.com.