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Teenage girl dies after tonsillectomy

In a case that has grabbed the attention of hospital safety advocates in Colorado and across the nation, a teenage girl was taken off of life support on Dec. 17 after she suffered a number of complications following a routine tonsillectomy. On Dec. 9, the operation took place seemingly without any problems. However, as the girl recovered, complications arose, and blood clots were even coming out of her mouth, according to her mother.

The girl eventually went into cardiac arrest and died, though she was then revived. However, she was brain dead. Her mother is demanding that Oakland Children's Hospital investigate the incident. The child's grandmother, who is a nurse herself, did not feel that the hospital handled post-operative procedures appropriately. She spoke to some of the staff members about their handling of the excessive bleeding and asked them to get a doctor.

The girl's uncle also expressed his belief that the hospital did not live up to its responsibility. He further claimed that the girl had a bad feeling about the operation. While the family had hoped for the girl's recovery and that they would be able to celebrate Christmas together, they decided to remove the girl from life support.

The medical facility agreed to undertake an investigation but did not provide additional information on the case or if it was due to any suspected surgical errors. A hospital representative explained that any surgery could have unforeseen complications.

When someone dies due to hospital negligence, family members might be able to pursue a civil lawsuit. A personal injury attorney might be able to use the hospital's internal investigation in order to help families who have lost a loved one due to a medical error seek financial compensation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Routine Tonsil Surgery Leaves Girl, 13, Brain Dead", Lydia O'Connor, December 17, 2013

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