Medical Malpractice Story: Owen Gardner

2-year-old Owen Gardner of South Dakota died of dehydration after not being given an IV to treat his flu-like symptoms. His parents had initially brought him to their local doctor and were sent home with suppositories. They returned to the physician when Owen's vomiting and diarrhea continued, causing him to become extremely dehydrated. The doctor did not recommend that the child be brought to the local hospital for fluids, but rather that his parents take him to a facility more than two hours away. Upon arrival at the hospital, Owen was admitted to the pediatric unit, where there was no specialist available. A nurse repeatedly tried and failed to administer an IV; a specialist did not see the child for over an hour. Owen stopped breathing and was wrongly intubated in his stomach, cutting off the flow of oxygen. Owen died two hours after his arrival at the hospital. His parents settled for a confidential sum of largely non-economic damages.

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