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Western Australia family wins case against hospital

A family won a major medical negligence case against the WA Child and Adolescent Health Service, after the Princess Margaret Hospital in Subiaco failed to provide proper care – even neglecting to give antibiotics – for the sepsis their daughter developed as a result of severe burns. The improperly treated sepsis led to the plaintiff suffering irreversible brain damage, according to Clyde & Co. LLP.

Story of the case

Sunday Mabior was first admitted to the Princess Margaret Hospital in 2005 after she fell into a bath filled with scalding water, resulting in burns to 18% on her body. While in the burn unit, she began showing signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This condition affects the lungs and can lead to cardiac arrest and related problems. In this case, the issue caused not only two heart attacks, but also lung damage and permanent cerebral palsy. The doctor’s initially told Mabior’s parents she was dead – before she eventually woke up.

Following the hospital stay, Princess Margaret staff faced accusation of medical negligence because they had failed to spot any of the ARDS symptoms early, despite the high likelihood of its occurrence in cases of severe burning on young children, and then did not give Mabior antibiotics as would have been necessary.

The presiding judge in the case felt that hospital staff had not reached a standard of reasonable care because they should have been aware of the warning signs for sepsis. In addition, their failure to administer antibiotics constituted an act negligence because doing so had little risk of causing harm and could have had major positive consequences.

“A reasonable person in the position of the treating doctors would have taken the reasonable and practicable precaution of administering antibiotics,” said the judge.

The ruling was a major relief for the family, who had faced financial strain as only one parent can work at a time due to the care needs of their daughter. An exact settlement has not been announced, but the family’s attorney says that he expects a payout of at least several million dollars.

Turn to the experts in medical negligence

Lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners have a strong record of winning medical negligence and malpractice suits. We will treat your case with the sensitivity and respect it deserves and fight to get you a financial reprieve. Get in touch with our team today.

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