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Girl declared brain dead after not recovering after tonsillectomy

We have discussed often on our New Mexico medical malpractice blog about how sometimes, things can go wrong in a hospital or operating room that come as a complete shock. This is certainly the case for the family of a 13-year-old girl in California. The girl went in to the hospital for a routine operation to have her tonsils removed; about half an hour after getting out of surgery, she began to cough up blood. Shortly thereafter, she went into cardiac arrest; she has since been declared brain dead.

Naturally, her family is stunned by the turn of events. They had no idea that their loved one could end up in the condition she is. Any civil action against the hospital and the girl's doctors will likely wait until her situation is resolved; however, there is basically no hope of recovery. If and when she does pass away, it would seem logical that a wrongful death lawsuit would be on the horizon.

This case is somewhat unusual because of the publicity that has been generated by the girl's condition. The family has been in front of television cameras telling their story, and a public prayer vigil was held recently that drew hundreds of people to the family church. The family has complained that the hospital has not been forthcoming with them about her medical records and her treatment. This will all be examined in detail at a later time, but right now, the family is waiting for a resolution concerning their young relative.

Source: NBC Bay Area, "Family, Friends Pray for Oakland Girl, Jahi McMath, Declared Brain Dead After Tonsillectomy," Jean Elle and Lisa Fernandez, Dec. 19, 2013

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