Infant Feeding Problems Lead to Weight Loss, Dehydration, Brain Damage; $1M Settlement

August 20, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​A settlement on behalf of a Missouri pediatrician for more than $1 million resolved allegations that the clinician's failure to follow up on an infant's feeding problems resulted in the infant becoming severely dehydrated and sustaining brain damage, according to a report from the August 2018 Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts (subscription required). On August 24, 2014, the infant was born at full term and discharged two days later after a "routine stay." The day after discharge, the infant's mother called the pediatrician's emergency after-hours hotline with concerns about the infant's feedings, which were lasting an hour, and she said that the child did not have a bowel movement for two days. When the mother visited the pediatrician the next morning, the provider noted that the infant was having problems with feeding and had lost 11% of her at-birth weight. The physician also noted a high respiratory rate and abnormal skin coloring. The pediatrician concluded that the infant's feeding problems had resolved, told the parents she was healthy, and sent her home, telling her parents to return in two weeks. On August 29, the mother called the pediatrician's office with concerns about a decrease in the infant's feeding.

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