Toddler Left in ER for Hours Until Her Feet and One Hand Are Amputated

We have another case of an alleged horrific injury due to the ever-present delays at emergency rooms in the United States. Malyia Jeffers, 2, was left for hours in the ER at the Methodist Hospital in Sacramento as her Strep A devoured her body. She ultimately lost both of her feet and one of her hands to amputations and she is fighting for her life at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

The family arrived in early December when Malyia had developed a fever and was lethargic. She also had visible bruise-like splotches on her cheeks. They sat there for five hours despite the pleas of the parents.

She was in septic shock from a Streptococcus A infection. She is now on life support.

While Malyia’s parents have medical insurance, many of their bills are not covered, including the $26,000 bill for a helicopter ride from Sacramento to Palo Alto.

I am unclear why the helicopter ride is so expensive or why it would not be covered given the medical emergency. Moreover, I do not understand why Democrats and Republicans cannot agree that the current delays in the emergency room are nothing short of a national scandal. We have all experienced these waits in ER rooms. Putting aside the current debate over the health care program, it remain a national disgrace that citizens routinely wait for hours for care. Yet, these same legislators who refuse to do anything about these lethal days are often those supporting caps on recovery for families in tort cases.

Obviously, there is a tort case in the making here for negligence. However, it could turn on factual causation question of whether Strep A would likely have resulted in the same amputations even if properly diagnosed. It would make for a poor jury case, however, for the hospital if this should go to trial.

Source: SacBee

Jonathan Turley

85 thoughts on “Toddler Left in ER for Hours Until Her Feet and One Hand Are Amputated”

  1. As my Dad used to say, whenever I got particularly “wise” about the ways of the government:

    “You want to clean up the world? Start with your room.”

    Would that we all just did what we can, I suspect many of the larger challenges would be quite a bit smaller.

    I see no advantage whatsoever in abdicating responsibility until that nebulous hour of knowing as much as we should to start.

    Did you know that an airliner from L.A. to Japan flies off-course 80& of the flight?

    We make tiny adjustments as we go; we let the job teach us how to do it; we keep on trucking.

    Or we don’t.

  2. Those bottom feeders who may be interpreted as though crawling up to bite the decent among us are actually gleaning the lethal parasites who have already, unnoticed, attached to those who believe themselves to be above the bottom feeders.

    It does not always hurt enough when a parasite attaches itself to make non-bottom feeders aware enough of the lethal parasite to attempt to remove it, but when the bottom feeders glean the parasites from the rest of us who are not bottom feeders, it may briefly sting when the lethal parasite is taken away.

    It may be easy to confuse the sting of being saved from a lethal parasite with the danger of not having the lethal parasite removed.

    What human has the resources to be an adequate gatekeeper of the human experience?

  3. “what is the relevance of the art of law-making and law-enforcement upon whether medical blunders become more or less probable in the future?”

    I would say the relevance is anchored in simple human decency.

    If we are all headed toward that great, never-ending sleep, with no clear assurances (to my mind) that either Nirvana or righteous retribution will square all our edges, then perhaps the here and now and each other, is all we’ve got.

    In which case swatting down the bottom-feeders who crawl up to bite the decent among us, may not merely be our purview, it may well be our duty as gatekeepers of the human experience.

  4. Apologies for an editing blunder…

    I would so much enjoy having my mom and dad, my brother, and my son and his wife drop by in about an hour for dinner and to talk about what happened today as casual dinner conversation.

    If I could determine in advance every consequence of what I do today; every consequence for the next trillion years, I would have a better sense of how to do well that which I do. Or, would I?

    Sometimes, I briefly play the Microsoft Windows Solitaire game, and I feel less as through alone. I can only play the cards as they are dealt.

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